Yellowjackets Swarm Tigers to Defeat
By Marty Mayfield
Rain before the game and during the first quarter didn’t dampen the Yellowjackets winning ways as they swarmed the Tigers and basically shut down the Tiger offense early on in the game. The undefeated Yellowjackets held the Tigers scoreless in the first half and went on to a 44-6 win Friday night.
Raton won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. Raton kicked off to the Jackets and on there second play Clayton fumbled turning it over to the Tigers who then went three and out. Clayton then went 67 yards on the ground in eight plays, culminating the drive with a 7-yard run by Koy Geary. Brian Montoya then pounded through the Tiger line for the 2-point conversion with 6:12 posted on the clock.
It was another three and out for Raton. Toby Henson’s punt sailed down field but Koy Geary was hard to stop and carried the ball back to the 50, while a 15-yard penalty brought it back to the 35. From there the Yellowjackets went three and out until a roughing the kicker penalty gave Clayton a second try at the goal line. They finished the drive with a 29-yard run by Nick Wiseman. Koy Geary’s attempt at the 2-point try failed and left the score 14-0 Clayton.
Raton simply couldn’t stop the Yellowjacket running game as they took Raton’s punt at their 29. Three plays later Nick Wiseman, behind some great blocking, broke free for a 52-yard romp and six more points. Zane Vandiver slide around the right side and in for the 2-point conversion with 11:30 on the clock in the second quarter, it was a 22-0 ball game.
Koy Geary intercepts a Cam Baird pass and gives Clayton the ball on their 46-yard line. Again on the ground Clayton running backs carry it to the Raton one-yard line. Zane Vandiver dives in for six more and Koy Geary adds the 2-points for 30-0 score with 4:01 left on the second quarter clock.
Raton finally puts together a drive on the legs of Toby Henson who was playing running back for this game in place of Jordan Mendez. Raton drives down inside the 14-yard line then goes to passing and ends up turning the ball over on the 14-yardline, on downs.
Clayton’s Josh Durbin breaks it free and simply outruns the Raton defense 76 yards for another Clayton TD with 1:07 left in the half. The 2-point failed and left Clayton up 36-0.
Second half action saw Raton finally pull it together to drive 75 yards in 10 plays. The big play was a pass to Luis Ruiz for 50 of those yards. The remainder, however, was tough going but Raton finished it off with a 10-yard pass play to Caleb Wood to put Raton on the board. The 2-point try failed and left the score 36-6 with only 4:01 on the running clock as Raton was down by 36 points starting the second half.
Clayton’s next series saw a fumble after five plays and a recovery by Raton at the Raton 27. Plagued by penalties and a sack Raton goes backward for 25 yards. A facemask penalty would give them back 15 but a loss of 10 on another sack would force Raton to punt. This time Henson was forced out and gave Clayton the ball on the Raton 23.
Five plays later Brian Montoya takes it the five yards to pay dirt. Justin Taylor puts the icing on the cake with another 2-point conversion with 9:34 left on the clock.
Raton went three and out again leaving the Clayton JV to run out the clock.
After coming off two big losses Raton Coach Brock Walton said they prepared all week just for this game but the team just couldn’t pull it together as a team. He said, ‘We have several great individual players but for some reason they just couldn’t pull it together as a team.” Raton only managed to handle the ball for 25 plays in the first half while Clayton dominated the clock with 40 plays in the half.
Raton will go into Homecoming week and try to prepare for Santa Fe Indian School on Friday night. This will be the first time Raton has played them in football. Walton added they don’t know anything about Santa Fe and the coaches will have view lots of game tapes to determine their strategy.