Always focus on the next snap. Don’t think too long and hard about the last one. That’s something West Las Vegas football coach Mike Ulibarri says is his philosophy. It’s an approach the Dons — and Cardinals and Cowboys — will embrace this weekend as they try to put the bad taste of last weekend’s lopsided defeats out of their systems.
On Friday night, Robertson hosts a tough 4A Moriarty while WLV meets one of 2A’s usual contenders, Tucumcari.
On Saturday, New Mexico Highlands is home at last when league rival Mesa State comes to town to open the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference portion of the schedule.
Moriarty is 1-1 after losing 27-7 to St. Pius and beating Capital 34-25. Coach Bob Allcorn has enjoyed a punishing ground game in recent seasons, but he’s had to overcome the losses of a number of key players. Still, the Pintos have guys like senior offensive tackle Andres Romero — listed at 6-3, 280 — anchoring the offensive line along with juniors Jerry Hendricks and John Bell — each checking in around 240 pounds, give or take a cheeseburger. So the visitors will look to control the line of scrimmage as they have in previous meetings.
Tucumcari coach Daniel Hutchins doesn’t have a lot of upperclassman leadership on his squad — only about a half dozen are seniors — but the Rattlers are 2-0 after whipping Carrizozo 32-6 and New Mexico Military 41-14.
Like the host Cowboys, Mesa State is looking for its first win this Saturday. The Mavericks opened with a 10-0 loss to then-No. 14 Central Washington on Aug. 29. Last week, the Mavs fell 35-14 against Missouri Western.
To date, Mesa State has had some success running the ball, averaging 145 rush yards a game; Will Halboth is the most prolific ball carrier. But the Mavericks haven’t had much luck reaching the end zone. One of their two TDs was on a 57-yard Griffin Chernoff punt return last week in Grand Junction, Colo.
Mesa is coming off a 6-5 season and a 6-3 RMAC record in ‘08.
All three local football teams had a weekend to forget, with turnovers, blocked punts and kickoffs and other miscues hurting the offenses. Cutting down on those could be top priority.