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Dexter head coach Kevin Graham got the improved play he was looking for and a win against a fellow Class 3A opponent to boot Friday as the Demons topped Tucumcari on the road, 21-0.

The victory was the third shutout in as many games for the Dexter defense, and while the offense squandered a few more opportunities to score, the scoring drives they did produce were well-executed.

“We were better,” Graham said Saturday. “We cleaned it up a little bit, and we definitely took a step forward last night.”

The Rattlers came out firing in the first quarter, chewing seven minutes off the clock en route to the Demon two-yard line. There, however, senior Hernan Gonzalez would play spoiler with a pick.

After giving themselves a bit of breathing room with a run up the middle to their own five, Dexter turned workhorse Gustavo Macias loose, and the junior rumbled 95 yards for the opening score.

The Demons would make it 13-0 in the second quarter on a 47-yard pass from quarterback Jarren Amaro to Sergio Ramirez, and that tally would stand at the half.

Dexter posted their final TD in the third on a three-yard plunge by Macias and compensated for their prior blocked PAT with a successful conversion pass from Amaro to Jordan Marquez to round out the final.

“Our main problem last night was we got in the red zone but couldn’t score,” said Graham. “We got down there five times, scored twice, and didn’t score three times. But our defense got another shutout, and we only had one turnover last night compared to three last week. That’s something we’re really focusing on is taking care of the football; usually we’re really good at that, and we haven’t been so far.”

Graham says he also hopes to see his squad work to cut down on their penalties in the coming weeks.

Statistically Friday, Macias finished with 132 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries, while Amaro went 16 of 24 for 184 yards, one TD, and one pick. Dexter racked up 410 total yards in the contest while holding the Rattlers to 187.

With the win, the Demons improve to 3-1 on the season as they prepare to host Class 4A Portales Friday in their 2017 Homecoming game.

The Rams will enter with a record of 3-1, as well. After opening their season with three lopsided wins against Texico (41-0), Lovington (42-21) and West Las Vegas (56-28), the boys in red were upended Saturday by St. Michael’s on the road, 21-20.

“We’re really excited to get the chance to play one of the best teams around, and hopefully we can compete with them,” said Graham.