After losing twice to Las Vegas Robertson in each of the last two seasons, including both years in the Class 3A playoffs, Portales High’s football team gets another crack at the Cardinals when the teams meet at 7 p.m. today in the season opener at Greyhound Stadium.
Portales dropped a 13-7 decision to the Cardinals in last year’s opener, then saw a 14-0 first-quarter lead evaporate in a 40-26 loss in a first-round playoff game. Both of those contests were played in Las Vegas.
Second-year Rams coach Jaime Ramirez said both teams were young last season, and he expects a good matchup tonight.
“Honestly, we’re matched up pretty evenly,” he said. “They were young like we were last year.
“I know its ‘cliche-ish,’ but it comes down to executing on offense, playing great defense and having good special teams.”
Both teams return most of their key players from last year, Ramirez said. The Rams entered the 2012 season with only one returning starter and finished 2-8, while the Cardinals went 7-5 and were eliminated by Ruidoso in the 3A quarterfinals.
“They’re really, really aggressive and fundamentally sound,” Ramirez said of the Cardinals. “They’re a pretty good football team.”
Rams coaches were able to scout Robertson during a recent scrimmage against Tucumcari. Ramirez said the Cardinals run a mostly two-back set on offense, featuring a power game with some option.
He said they like to throw off play-action.
Ramirez said the coaches are trying to tell the players not to worry about the recent history against Robertson.
“We’re just telling the kids to take it game by game,” he said. “We’re going to do what we do; we’re not looking at anybody’s rankings or what they’ve done in the past.
“We’re just going to do the best we can.”
Attempts to reach Cardinals coach Leroy Gonzalez on Thursday night were unsuccessful.