By Marty Mayfield
Coach Tory Giacomo told KRTN before the game that the defense worked all week on getting 11 helmets to the ball and that they did holding the McCurdy Bobcats to three and out on their first two series in the season opener in Espanola Saturday afternoon on their way to a 42-6 win.
The Raton offense also performed well under the leadership of sophomore quarterback Dustin Segura by taking their first series 69 yards in only nine plays for the first score of the game. Segura took the ball the five yards to pay dirt on the ninth play of the drive and Jonathan Cabrieles topped with a wobbly extra point.
Raton took the Bobcat’s second punt to the Bobcat 48 where they once again put the ball on the ground with the running of Dakota Martinez, Jonathan Cabrieles and Dustin Segura. Martinez started the second quarter with a four-yard run to pay dirt for the second Raton TD. Cabrieles split the uprights this time and made it a 14-0 game.
It looked like the Bobcats might put something together but a five-yard loss and a six-yard sack forced McCurdy to punt the ball away after only seven plays. Raton let the ball roll to their 39 where they started a 12 play drive to pay dirt. Martinez pounded the ball through the line on a one-yard run for six and Cabrieles tied the ribbon on it with another straight thru extra point.
One of the problems with having to play both sides of the ball is the risk of injury is higher and Dakota Martinez took a shot in the knee on the kickoff that put him out of the game for the rest of the afternoon. On the first play of the series Bobcat quarterback Andres Martinez put up a long pass that Dustin Segura managed to get his hands on and create the first turnover in the game. Raton took a knee to end the half at 21-0.
Second half action took off as Raton carried the ball to the 47-yard line on the opening kickoff. From there Segura scampered 13 yards and Cabrieles took a handoff one-yard then a 24 yard pass play to Cabrieles put the ball back in the end zone. Cabrieles missed the PAT leaving the score 27-0.
McCurdy fumbled the ball on their first drive of the half and Raton recovered on the Bobcat 25. It took the Tigers only four plays to put the ball in on a one-yard run by Segura. Raton then put the ball in the air to Juan Sarinana for the two-point conversion and a 35-0 lead at 8:17 in the third quarter.
A 35-point spread means a running clock and the Bobcats ended their next series after seven plays and turned it over on downs at the 38-yard line. Raton then took the ball into the fourth quarter and another TD with 6:42 left in the game. Cabrieles split the uprights and made it a 42-0 game.
McCurdy didn’t waste any time taking the kickoff to the 43. Five plays later Martinez put one up to Josh Waters who scrambled on to pay dirt, a 36-yard play that put McCurdy on the board with 2:58 left on the clock. The 2-point try failed and left it 42-6. Raton ended the game on a couple of runs and a knee.
Coach Giacomo indicated that the offense worked hard during two-a-days and in the last two weeks to prepare for the game. In the past Raton had been a passing team this year the ground game will be the primary as sophomore quarterback Segura gains strength in his arm. Segura only put up seven passes with two completions for good yardage.
The Raton running game has a wide variety to choose from with a tall and lanky Cabrieles to a tall stockier Dakota Martinez. Segura is a 5-9 130 pounds and Kyler Daniel, back after a 2-year injury hiatus, is a 5-3 150 pound stump of a runner for short yardage plays.
Raton will host the La Junta Tigers Friday evening in the Jungle at 7:00 p.m. for another revenge match after being trampled 52-0 last year in La Junta.