With the cannon going off so many times for Wildcat touchdowns, and fireworks going off to celebrate Eric Roanhaus’ 300th win, it was easy to forget the defensive domination that took place Friday night at Leon Williams Stadium.
There was enough offense in the 40-0 blowout that the Wildcats could have broken on defense every so often. But they only bent earlier, and improved throughout.
The visiting Tigers entered Clovis territory four times, never reaching the Clovis 35. Add in four turnovers, and you have Clovis’ first shutout since a 58-0 blasting of Hobbs in November 2008.
Something special in the air: Clovis has had a North to count on in the kicking game the last five years, whether it was Robert (2005-07) or Andrew (2008-09). No more Norths, but still a reasonable showing.
Junior Tre Orozco punted only once, with five minutes to go on the night. The punt from the Clovis 20 landed about 35 yards downfield, but Alamogordo players avoided the ball and the swarm of Wildcats covering. The ball took a friendly bounce or 10, and died on the Alamogordo 2. Senior Matt Heard, meanwhile, was 4-of-6 on extra points and handled kickoff duties.
Key offensive play: Senior Daulton Britt was effective in limited time, carrying twice for 30 yards. But his 23-yard run in the first quarter showed the type of blocking he could receive throughout the season. The 23-yard reverse helped the Wildcats overcome a holding penalty, and a block by quarterback Jordan Hill sprung him free for the final dozen yards.
The drive finished with Juan Rivas, following another Hill block. Rivas scored the 8-yard run with a grasp of his quarterback’s jersey.
Lesson learned: Clovis defensive coordinator Darren Kelley said a long pass from Kellen Hester to Markus Miller on Alamogordo's first play from scrimmage was a test as to whether the Wildcats would learn from a mistake — even if it ended up as a turnover.
“We got a break,” Kelley said. “We didn’t take care of things on that play. They ran the play later in the game, and we had it covered by two guys.”
Pick ’em: Rivas won a pair of jump balls in the second and fourth quarters for interceptions.
“I was just in the perfect positions,” Rivas said. “(I) stayed there and just followed the routes.”
Drive of the night: “Classic Clovis” describes the opening drive of the third quarter. The Wildcats took the ball to open the second half, and Alamogordo didn’t see it again for nearly eight minutes. All of Clovis’ top three running backs got their number called on the 15-play, 65-yard drive, with a 13-yard reception by Corbin Best to convert on third-and-11.
Raymond Beachum had a 5-yard run to convert a fourth-and-2, and Rivas made it 33-0 with the 3-yard plunge.
Next up: Clovis goes on the road for a rarity — a Saturday regular season contest. The Wildcats and Eldorado kick off at 5 p.m. at R.F. Wilson Stadium.