By Marty Mayfield
It took Questa nine plays to drive down the field and score six with 8:08 left in the quarter but Raton would set the tone for this year’s homecoming game with a 36-yard pass play from Dustin Segura to Jonathan Cabriales for six and a Raton win.
It was an eight to eight game at 7:12 on the first quarter clock. Questa’s next series would continue the flags a flying and hold Questa to 10-yards. In the first quarter alone there were nine penalties called and that would continue the rest of the game, ending with a total of 26 penalties on the night.
Raton started their next series at the 46 after another onside kick taking nine plays to find pay dirt. Cabriales split the uprights for the PAT and Raton lead 15-8 with 43 seconds on the clock.
Derek Vialpando took a sailing Cabriales kickoff to the 47 where Cabriales made a horse collar tackle or Vialpando would have went for six. Questa carried the ball into the second quarter. Questa quarterback Zachary Gallegos threw a pass interception to DJ Bird at the Raton 22. Raton finally made it down the field and ended the 12-play drive with an 11-yard pass play to Cabriales who then nailed the PAT for a 22-8 game with 6:50 left in the half. That drive also included four of the six penalties of the quarter.
For the remainder of the quarter it was a defensive battle with both teams only getting a few plays before having to turn the ball over. Halftime festivities included the Tigercats Dance team and the presentation of the Homecoming Queen and her court. The King and court were presented before the game.
Third quarter action started much as it had left off in the second with Raton going four and out on downs leaving the ball on the 50-yard line. Questa capitalized on that with a 26 and 20 yard run to take it inside the 10-yardline. A procedure call backed them up to the 10-yardline where they took two more plays to end it with a four yard run by Vialpando for six. The 2-point try was good and made it a 22-16 game.
Raton returned the favor with an 11-play drive from the Questa 47. Raton always had good starting field position as the Questa kicker laid the ball flat on the ground kicked it like a top for an onside kick. Raton only lost the kick once in the game. Center Cole Medina on a tipped ball made the 2-point try a success making it 30-16 with no time on the clock to end the third period.
Vialpando carried the kickoff to the 22-yardline. Questa however couldn’t capitalize as Juan Sarinana picked off a Paul Passino pass at the 14-yardline. Raton gets some yardage out of a 15-yard facemask call and then Zachary Gallegos picks off a Segura pass at the Raton 48. Seven plays later Questa fumbles at the Raton 11-yardline. Seven plays later Raton is forced to punt it away to the 50-yardline.
From there Questa mounted and back and forth drive that finally ended with a 10-yard pass play from Gallegos to Jonathan Rivera for six. The 2-point try failed and leaving it 38-22 with 5:00 minutes left in the game.
Questa recovers the onside kick this time and starts at the 49-yardline going the 49 yards in eight plays ending it with a nine yard pass play from Gallegos to Passino for six and again the 2-point try failed. At 3:24 left in the game Raton had a 38-28 lead.
The onside kick didn’t go the required 10 yards and Raton took the ball on the Questa 44. Five running plays later Raton was at the four and Kyler Daniel finished it of with a four-yard run for six more. Cabrieles split the uprights and Raton put the game out of reach with 1:59 remaining at 45-28.
Questa returned the kickoff to their 33-yardline but too little time and to many yards to go Questa failed to get back into the end zone before time ran out in the game. It was after 10:00 p.m. when the penalty filled game ended.
Coach Giacomo was pleased with the way it ended and felt it was a confident booster for the team. Raton will now prepare to travel down I-25 to play West Las Vegas this week.
Jonathan Cabriales holds the ball up as he crosses the goal line, one of his four tds of the homecoming night.
DJ Bird gets a hand on the ball as Jonathan Rivera goes up for the pass to keep Questa from a good gain.
Jonathan Cabriales makes another great catch to set Raton up for another score Friday night during the Homecoming game with Questa.
Jonathan Cabriales just can’t quite keep hold of the low pass Friday night.
Just a smidgeon to high for Jonathan Cabriales just can’t keep his hands on the ball as Zachary Gallegos bumps into him to help disrupt the play.
Its Jonathan Cabriales once again making the catch for another Raton six late in the Homecoming game.