The road back to .500 runs through Roswell. But there’s one tough gatekeeper in the way.
Before the Clovis Wildcats close out the regular season with three of four games at Leon Williams Stadium, they face a test against the two-time defending Class 4A champion Goddard Rockets.
Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the Wool Bowl in Roswell.
In what has been a challenging season for the Wildcats (2-3), Goddard been mostly unchallenged. While compiling a 4-0 record, the Sam Jernigan-coached Rockets have had time to go from their run-first attack of junior David Anaya to passing offense with Ryan Green behind center.
“They throw the ball a lot more this year,” Clovis assistant Darren Kelley said. “They definitely have some good athletes.”
If Clovis does have an advantage, it’s overall size. But Clovis senior tackle Fred Kelley — no relation to the coach — said they’re athletic on the line.
“They’re really good scoot blockers,” said Kelley, who at 6-foot, 295 pounds has a 30-pound advantage over any Rockets lineman. “We’ve just got to line up and come out tough.”
Though they didn’t see film of Goddard’s 42-0 win at Portales last week, Dareen Kelley said the Rockets still run it right at you first and foremost and do enough in the passing game to complement their rushing game.
“One of the things Goddard’s always been able to do is get guys open,” Kelley said. “They have a quarterback who is able to run around in the pocket and find open guys.”
The key, coach Kelley said, will be sticking to the gameplan, which has worked as Clovis has been an annual stumbling block for Goddard.
“We definitely have to be physical,” he said. “It’s going to be a smashmouth game. Whenever we’ve done our own thing, it hasn’t worked out.”
Jernigan could not be reached for comment.
at Goddard (4-1)
7 p.m. today, Wool Bowl, Roswell
Radio: KCLV 1240 AM, 99.1 FM; KTQM 99.9 FM; KWKA 680 AM; KICA 98.3 FM.
TV: KFCL, UHF channel 41, Suddenlink channel 128 (98-128) or Comcast channel 98. 6 p.m. Saturday airing.
Coaches: Clovis, Eric Roanhaus, 33rd season, 301-105-5. Goddard, Sam Jernigan, 19th season, 175-82.
Last week: Clovis snapped a three-game skid, defeating visiting Rio Rancho 28-7. After a bye week, the two-time defending 4A champion Rockets routed Portales 42-0 on the road.
Last meeting: 2009, Clovis snapped a two-game skid with a 31-14 victory at Leon Williams Stadium.
— Compiled by Kevin Wilson