Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bears host Lions

Bears host Lions

Alamogordo Daily News
By Gidal Kaiser, Sports Editor

The words have been spoken by many a coach in Class 1A and 2A: "Santa Rosa. Oh, my gosh."

The biggest problems coaches say when it comes to facing Santa Rosa are:

1. The Lions run an old-school, single-wing, direct snap offense that was last used in mainstream football back in the 1940s.

2. Santa Rosa's player are always "huge monsters" and "tougher than an overcooked steak."

"What can you say? They're one of those big and physical teams that play hard," Cloudcroft head coach Matt Shaw said. "They'll kick you when you're down and stomp you till you're dead. They play that way."

The Lions carry with them a certain intimidation factor despite not having won a state title since 1998. It's that intimidation factor which Shaw said most coaches and players buy into.

Shaw has told his Bears (4-2) they must not think about it before today's game with the Lions (5-1) in Cloudcroft.

"We stressed, 'Do not walk out on the field afraid,'" Shaw said. "I don't want any fear in any of them. It's an intimidation thing, and we can't play them intimidated. They're hard enough to beat without the intimidation. We can't give them anything. Not an inch."

Santa Rosa fell to Dexter last week, 29-14, after giving up 15 points in the fourth quarter. Jesus Roybal ran back the game's opening kickoff 95 yards and also threw a touchdown pass to Joaquin Bachica, accounting for the Lions' points. But Frank Ortiz's single-wing offense generally garners a total of five passes a season, instead using trickery and reverses in it's direct-snap running game.

Plus, Shaw noted, his offense has been on-again, off-again for the past month. With the Lions today, and with district play looming, the offensive woes have to be corrected.

"There's just a lot going on right now," he said. "If we play the game of our life, we can beat them."

Alamogordo Daily News
A MediaNews Group Newspaper
Alamogordo, New Mexico

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