RUIDOSO — The Portales Rams weren’t able to get back on track Friday night.
An hour delay early in the second quarter for lightning and heavy rain didn’t help.
Junior Parker Johnson caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Cade Patterson on the first play of the second quarter, just before the delay, and later added a pair of 13-yard touchdown runs as Ruidoso downed the Rams 42-27 in the District 4-3A opener for both teams.
Johnson rushed for 73 yards and caught five passes for 60 yards as the Warriors (6-2) took early control of the district race.
Portales (5-3), which dropped its third consecutive game, led 6-0 after a 1-yard quarterback sneak by senior Daniel Sanchez, but the Warriors capped their first scoring drive on the TD pass from Patterson to Parker. After Travis Mosher’s PAT kick, officials stopped the game as the weather got nasty.
Freshman running back Cisco Mayville, who finished with 255 yards on 19 carries, scored on a 46-yard run for the Warriors after play resumed, but Rams junior Matt Martinez brought the ensuing kickoff back 85 yards and PHS tied it when Martinez ran in a 2-point conversion.
Johnson’s first TD run gave the Warriors the lead at halftime, but Sanchez found junior John Young for a 47-yard touchdown pass in the third period to tie it again 21-21.
Johnson then put the Warriors back in front late in the period. Then Warriors junior defensive back Brendon O’Connor stepped in front of a Sanchez pass and returned it 79 yards for a 35-21 lead early in the final period.
The Rams, who have been hurt all season by turnovers, finished with four in this game.
“The pick-6 (by O’Connor) hurt us,” Rams coach Jaime Ramirez said. “We can’t continue to make those kinds of mistakes.
“I thought for the most part we played good on offense. We just didn’t close the deal several times when we got in the red zone.”
Sophomore Bronte Staugaard’s 10-yard TD run got the Rams within 35-27, and they were driving for a potential tying score when another interception all but sealed their fate.
Ruidoso finished with 405 total yards to 321 for the Rams. Staugaard rushed 20 times for 146 yards, while Young caught three passes for 100.