The defending Rio Grande Football League champion Las Cruces Kings opened up their season this weekend with an eight-hour trip to Amarillo to face the West Texas Bulldogz and came away with a 28-6 win.
“We were on the road and had many players that weren’t able to make it, but the few that did, stepped up,” Kings CEO Derek Smith told DFUSA. “We had a defensive end playing o-line and a running back playing tackle. Our guys made sacrifices and did what it took to come out on top.”
Leading the way for the Kings was Marcus Allen, who had two receiving touchdowns and an interception return for a touchdown, and Tre Bennett who added two kickoff returns for 110 yards, a 70-yard touchdown, and an interception.
“Number 33 (Bennett), that cat kept them in the game,” Bulldogz owner and offensive coordinator Tirone Stovall told DFUSA. “He has a lot of speed on him, a lot of speed, and their offensive line is pretty big, too.”
Buck Jones added five carries for 45 years and three receptions for 35 yards for Las Cruces. Defensively, William Allen led the way for the Kings with eight tackles, 2 ½ sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
“Our offense was able to run and pass the ball effectively,” Smith said. “But, our defense is ultimately what won the game for us. We have a very tough defense and we have a lot of returners this year. One thing about the Kings, we pick each other up. If one person gets down, we try to get him back up on a positive level. We emphasize on being positive and not talking down on each other.”
The Bulldogz lone touchdown came when cornerback Aaron Heyd took an interception to the house for a touchdown. The West Texas defense had four interceptions on the day.
“Like I told my players, there was first game jitters, we’re going to make mistakes, but we’re going to learn from our mistakes,” Stovall said.
Middle linebacker Jaron Knight also had a big game for the Bulldogz.
“We have a lot of new faces and they were learning the game,” Stovall said. “We want to work with our line because they got kind of confused. Our team went to the spread and started moving the ball so we’ll work on that a little bit more.”
The Las Cruces Kings (1-0) host the Alamogordo Desert Dawgs (1-0) this weekend and the West Texas Bulldogz (0-1) travel to Lubbock to play the West Texas Outlaws (0-1).