The Rockets got it in their very next game.
No. 1 Goddard opened its season with a 63-0 drumming of No. 5 Aztec on Friday night at The Woolbowl in Roswell.
Goddard rushed for three touchdowns in the first quarter and seven in the game, dominating Aztec’s defense for 288 yards.
“Goddard is a solid team and we knew that coming into the game,” said Aztec senior quarterback Adam Lucero.
Aztec’s offense struggled mightily against the Rockets, too, managing only five first downs the entire game — three coming thanks to Goddard penalties.
Lucero went 4-8 passing for 19 yards while being sacked twice.
Marcus Crawford came in to replace Lucero at quarterback and went 3-13 for 18 yards with two interceptions. Goddard’s Fabian Soto returned one of those interceptions for a touchdown.
Lucero did not say whether he was injured or not, and called the move at quarterback a coaching decision.
“Coach Steinfeldt made a personnel decision throughout the course of the game,” Lucero said.
Goddard scored twice on defense with Josh Quiroz also returning a fumble for a touchdown.
Aztec fumbled three times and lost two of them on Friday.
Cody French led Goddard’s running attack with 121 yards and three touchdowns on only eight carries.
Dean McDaniel ran for another 87 yards and a touchdown while
Anthony Ornelas ran for two scores and 35 yards.
On the other side of the ball, Aztec rushed for a net of -33 yards on 15 carries, moving backward at a pace of 2.2 yards per carry.
In 36 snaps, Aztec average only a foot of gain per play.
Aztec has a week off to prepare for Miyamura on homecoming night Sept. 21.
The Tigers will be desperate for a win before traveling to 5A Manzano the following week.
“We need to use this bye week to really break down film and clean some things up,” Lucero said.
State title expectations for Aztec will disappear across the state with the big loss Friday night, but the Tigers are still fighting with only one goal in mind.
“Our focus hasn’t changed and it won’t. Our goal is still to win state and that’s what we are going for,” Lucero said. “I still believe 100 percent that we are the best team in the state. Every coach I’ve ever had, especially my wrestling coaches such as Michael Bejar, Monte Maxwell, Herb Stinson and Ronnie Clark have all told me it is not how you start, it is how you finish. It is completely true and that is what we need to realize as a team.”