By Marty Mayfield
Three and out was the start Raton didn’t really want as the rain turned to drizzle and eventually quit in Clayton Friday night as the two teams met for the second district game of the season for both teams in what would turn out to be a total domination by Clayton who ended the game midway through the third quarter.
Clayton after two offside penalties and a fumble, fumbled a second time and Raton recovered it on the 30. Raton caught the break as Jonathan Cabriales took it 28 yards. Then the bad luck hit as two holding penalties and procedure call forced Raton to punt it away.
This time Clayton’s running game jelled and seven plays later Tucker Poling plowed into the end zone. Jacob Naranjo took it the three yards for the 2-point try and Clayton lead 8-0 with 1:26 left in the quarter.
Raton fumbled on the kickoff, Clayton’s Jacob Romero recovered the ball at the Raton 26. Just into the second quarter Jacob Gallagher romps 13 yards around the end for six more points. Edgar Tarin took it in for the 2-point try it was a 16-0 game.
Raton fumbles the ball at the 16-yardline and Clayton once again has great field position. Tucker Poling makes the run down to the 2-yardline where Tarin plows it in for six. The 2-point try failed and at the 10:28 mark on the clock Clayton led 0-22.
Raton’s next drive ends after three with a pass interception by Jose Zamora at the Raton 42. Antonio Lucero starts it with a 14 yard run and Justin Taylor finishes the drive with a 28-yard romp to pay dirt. Taylor tops it off with the 2-point conversion for a 30-0 score at 9:09 on the clock.
Raton recovers the fumble on the kickoff and begins a drive at the 42. Despite a couple of incomplete passes and a bad snap that cost the Tigers 12 yards they managed to take the ball to the Clayton 20 where Dustin Segura scrambled for six around the left end. The 2-point pass attempt failed and Raton was left with a 30-6 score at 5:11.
Clayton didn’t let things sit idle and was helped with a holding penalty that took the ball to the Raton 10. A pass to Justin Taylor for six was called back on a holding penalty but Naranjo and Zamora saw to it the Jackets scored and Taylor tacked on the 2-points.
Another three and out for Raton and a bad punt by Cabriales left Clayton once again with good field position on the Raton 38. Despite a holding penalty on Clayton that moved the ball back Edgar Tarin scrambled 28 to pay dirt for another six. The 2-point failed and left the score at 44-6 with 1:42 on the first half clock.
With a running clock in the second half it took Clayton only two possessions to finish off the game with the 50-point rule. Justin Taylor took the ball 40 yards for the first score and Tarin took it three yards for six after Clayton took over the ball on a Raton fumble at the 25.
It was a tough game for Raton coming off a big loss last week to Santa Rosa. Coach Tory Giacomo knew it would be tough as Clayton was the defending state champs. Their offense is based on a running game and Raton worked on defending that as well as keeping the Jackets out of the backfield and allowing time for Segura to pass. But Clayton came on strong and dominated the game with a strong multi runner offense that just couldn’t be stopped and a defense that found holes in the Tiger offense.
Raton will now travel to Tucumcari for the final game of the season and will hope for a win to repeat last year’s game in Raton.