The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Wildcats take charge to open district


October 7, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE — For the last three weeks, the Clovis Wildcat football team had to feel like they were running a race while wearing weighted vests. And then Friday, the vests came off and it was sprinting time.

The Clovis Wildcats followed up a brutal 0-3 run through Lubbock teams with a dominating performance that showed why they scheduled Monterey, Coronado and Cooper in the first place — winning 39-0 over Sandia in their District 2/5-6A opener Friday at F.M. Wilson Stadium.

The Wildcats (3-4, 1-0) go right back to Wilson on Friday, with a 7 p.m. kickoff against Manzano.

Clovis coach Cal Fullerton felt like the Wildcats came out strong from the start, and credited the three Lubbock games for that.

“That’s not taking anything away from Sandia at all,” Fullerton said. “They played hard. But you talk about West Texas football, it’s a different animal. Some of those teams are going to be similar, but I think last night we were chomping at the bit for a victory. Our secondary blew some coverages, but we were flying around the field. We were very, very physical.”

Clovis scored on the first play against the Matadors (2-4, 0-1) when Montez Wright took a long run to the house. The play was called back on a flag, but a message had already been sent.

“You could see right then the speed was going to be there all night,” Fullerton said. “We set the tone on the first play of the game.”

Wright scored later in the quarter on a 3-yard run, and had 48 yards rushing with an interception on defense.

Sophomore Chance Harris went 11-of-16 for 179 yards and three touchdowns against one interception. He did most of his damage on small routes finished by long runs. He completed a 40-yarder to Malik Phillips to close out the first-quarter scoring at 12-0 — Clovis missed its first conversion kick and failed on a two-point attempt — and accounted for the second quarter’s only score on a 3-yard run.

“I think it helps our offensive line when we get it to the edge and get our skill guys in open space,” Fullerton said of the West Coast offense approach. “I thought if we did that early, it would open up some things for us in the run game.”

Harris completed scoring tosses of 30 yards to Ethan Culliver and 65 to Phillips in the second half, and Andrew Jaramillo got Clovis into the running clock on a 70-yard scoring run with just over six minutes left.

The Wildcats totaled 393 yards on the game, including 214 on the ground. Sandia, meanwhile, managed 146 yards and just 22 rushing.


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