Friday, September 2, 2011

Cardinals cruise, show class, give thanks

Eunice QB Tyler Almager
  The Class 2A second-ranked Eunice football team could've made it a short night at Watson Stadium.
  Taking a 41-0 lead over the Hobbs junior varsity early in the second quarter, the Cardinals pulled the majority of their starters and got their second string some time, avoiding the 50-point mercy rule (a New Mexico rule stating if a team is up by 50 points or more, the game is over).
  Even though the selfish-journalist-thinking-about-deadline part of me wouldn't have argued against an early end to the contest, the result of playing all four quarters was beneficial for the teams on the field - especially the Cardinals.
  Playing the game out gave Eunice backups valuable experience and time on the field that will be tougher to find later in the season. The Cardinals' schedule will get tougher, injuries happen and giving these guys time now will make them better prepared if an injury does occur and they have to step in.
  It also showed some class to not run up the score on the Eagles. Behind Tyler Almager's three touchdown passes (all to Eric Leyva) and two rushing scores, Eunice could've quickly enforced the 50-point mercy rule. Instead, the Hobbs JV (a sophomore-heavy team) got a chance to get its feet wet in its first game of the season.
  Speaking of class, it was great to see what the Eunice players did after the game. Following the final buzzer and after quickly meeting, the Cardinals came across the field to Hobbs' side of the field, walked into the stands on the home side of Watson Stadium and shook hands and thanked those who attended the game.
  It was refreshing to see, to be honest. Not to sound like an old, bitter man, but with the way athletes seem to go out of their way to show up an opponent, it was great to see two teams from towns just 20 miles apart end a game with such civility and class.
  I'll be making my way to the Bulldog Bowl in Artesia later today to cover the Hobbs varsity team's matchup with Class 4A No. 2 Artesia (read a preview of the game in today's edition of the News-Sun). Remember, to get updates on the game throughout, follow me on twitter at