In what has been one of Clovis’ toughest years — the Wildcats are headed for their first non-winning regular season in 10 years — they don’t mind a chance to wipe the slate clean.
On cue, here comes District 4-5A play. Clovis is back at 0-0 in their minds, and their first winning streak of the season would earn them an outright district championship.
“We’re starting all over again,” Clovis assistant Darren Kelley said. “We’ve got to win the next two games. That’s the only thing we can control.”
The Wildcats will have to face the Hobbs Eagles in a matchup that has recently been one-sided but sees the Eagles (4-4) coming in with a better regular season mark than the Wildcats (3-5).
Clovis’ scouting report doesn’t mention the records, only referring to Friday’s contest as “District 4-5A Game 1.”
Friday’s visitors are capable of high-scoring nights, averaging 44.3 points in their wins. But the Eagles have lost four of their last five after a 3-0 start, including 42-0 against Goddard last week.
“They’re going to run the ball right at you,” Kelley said of Hobbs, which has completed 11 passes in 32 attempts this season. “They also do enough option stuff that we have to make sure we take care of our option responsibilities.”
The Eagles depend on the Wilson brothers — senior quarterback Tanner and senior halfback Tyler — for a lot of their offense, and junior fullback Reggie Mackey has run the ball well, Kelley said.
“We have to shut down the run,” senior quarterback Jordan Hill said. “That’s what they’re going to stick with.”
The Wildcats have had their troubles too. Clovis accumulated 557 yards of offense last week, good for a win almost any night, but they gave up 655 yards in a 66-48 loss to Manzano.
“We’ve got to get the defense back on track because we got a little off track last week,” said Hill, who left late in last week’s game after a knee injury. Kelley said Hill got pinned by a defender, and there was no point sending him back into a 66-34 game. The Wildcats scored two late touchdowns to cut into Manzano’s margin of victory.
If the Wildcats can defeat Hobbs Friday and Carlsbad in two weeks, Kelley figures the seeding committee would give Clovis somewhere between the seventh and 10th seed in the 12-team Class 5A bracket.
District champions are guaranteed a playoff spot.
Attempts to contact Hobbs coach Bruce Dollar were unsuccessful.