Basketball recruit helps Sandia thump Cats
Last updated 10/23/2021 at 3:08pm
CLOVIS - Sandia put a quick end to Clovis High's hopes of a possible second-place finish in Class 6A District 2/5 on Friday night.
Shawn Johnson, a 6-foot-6 senior recently recruited off the Matadors' basketball team, scored two touchdowns and used his size to grab six passes for 69 yards while also making a couple of key plays on defense as the Matadors posted a 41-14 victory over the Wildcats at Leon Williams Stadium.
Sandia coach Chad Adcox, whose team had to cancel its previous outing against Eldorado because of COVID-19 issues within the program, said the Matadors recently added three hoopsters to their roster to provide depth.
Johnson, playing wide receiver and defensive end, certainly did his part.
"He's obviously a big kid," Adcox said. "He's a lot to handle. These guys coming out (from basketball) have given us a lot more athleticism."
Things started well for the Cats (3-5, 3-2), who saw their three-game winning streak come to an end.
After forcing a three-and-out following the opening kickoff, Clovis rolled to four first downs and marched 74 yards in nine plays, with senior quarterback Milo Acosta breaking off a 35-yard scoring run when he scrambled away from the Sandia pass rush.
After that, the Matadors took over. They marched their ensuing possession 52 yards in just four plays, with junior quarterback Moyer finding senior Josh Duron for a 27-yard scoring pass.
A muffed punt set the Matadors up on the Clovis 18 early in the second period, and Johnson took a jet sweep around right end for the score on the next play.
By halftime, it was 28-7, and the Matadors (4-4, 3-1) added two scores in the final stanza, including a 13-yard pass from Moyer to Johnson to cap it.
"They're a really good football team," CHS coach Cal Fullerton said of Sandia, which tied for second in the district with Eldorado (6-3, 3-1) and has only last-place Manzano remaining next week. "We did a good job of going down and scoring on the first series, but for the rest of the half we pretty much played behind the sticks.
"The most disappointing thing is we were making mistakes that we were making early in the season and not making the last three weeks."
The Cats moved the ball at times, but they didn't reach paydirt again until late in the third stanza when, on fourth-and-3, Acosta flipped a pass to the left flat and senior Manuel Bustillos hauled it in for a 15-yard score.
"I'm proud of our kids," Adcox said. "We told our kids that this is a business trip and we need to take care of business, and they did."
Moyer, who went 5-for-6 on PAT kicks, finished 16-of-20 through the air for three touchdowns. Junior running back Malachi Thymes had 96 yards rushing while senior Dalton Speis had a touchdown run and a touchdown pass.
As far as the postseason, the Cats are squarely on the bubble. They finish the regular season with a 7 p.m. Thursday game against Eldorado (6-3, 3-1) in Albuquerque.