RUIDOSO – There’s no doubt Friday was a disappointment for Ruidoso’s football team.
It was a 42-28 loss to No. 2-ranked Robertson in the Warriors’ Homecoming game. But more than that, this was a game Ruidoso made exciting.
Despite coming in as the underdog, Ruidoso (2-2) scored first, was tied 21-all with the Cardinals at halftime, and was making a drive in the fourth quarter to make it a one score game.
But then an interception gave Robertson (4-0) the ball and the momentum needed to finally put the game out of reach.
“We feel like we had a good ball team coming into this, and we still do feel that way,” said Ruidoso coach Kief Johnson. “We busted here and there and left some points off the board.”
Following the pick with 7:11 left in the fourth period – on first and 10, no less – the Cardinals proceeded to drive the ball 69 yards for the touchdown.
Just like that, the game went from a one-score game to two, and was put out of reach with just over three minutes left.
Ruidoso had been hurting the Cardinals with the pass up until that point. Brennam Stewart finished the game with 217 yards in the air and a 11-yard scoring strike to Gabriel Dorame early in the second quarter.
Dorame was his favorite target on the night, as the junior racked up 90 yards on 12 catches. Layson Powell also had a good night receiving with 80 yards.
For all the throwing, though, Stewart was just as effective – more so – on the ground, running for 105 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.
“I’m very proud with the way the boys played tonight. They left it all on the field and gave it their best shot,” Johnson said. “We can keep on working and keep on getting better.”
Robertson, however, was even more effective. Quarterback Arjay Ortiz and running back Antonio Padilla combined for 247 on the ground, several times shedding would-be tacklers and proving slippery in the field.
“Some of that is what we can get better at, we need to work on our tackles,” Johnson said. “There was too much arm tackling. You have to move your feet, get into position and bring those players down.”
Ruidoso will need to improve on their game quite a bit if they want to be competitive against their next opponent. Tularosa comes into the contest next week at 4-0 after a 48-6 thrashing of McCurdy on Saturday.
Game time at Tularosa’s Bob Cerny Stadium is 7 p.m., Sept. 22.