Jason Swann was pretty sure his Clovis Christian football team was about to face its stiffest challenge of the season Friday night. Turns out, he was right.
Mountainair put together a powerful ground game with just enough passing to keep the Eagles honest, and the Mustangs pulled away to a 20-6 win over CCS at Yucca Complex.
The Eagles (5-1), who came in ranked second in 8-man, hadn’t been seriously tested until meeting their match against the up-and-down Mustangs (3-2).
“We knew coming in that they matched up pretty well with us,” Eagles coach Jason Swann said. “That’s the first team we’ve played that matched up with us speed-wise.”
Mountainair trailed 6-0 at halftime, but held the Eagles without a first down after the first CCS possession of the second half. The Mustangs outgained CCS 428-119 in the game.
“We were just trying to play (for) the whole game,” Mountainair coach Robert Zamora said. “We got some good breaks in the second half that went our way.”
Zamora’s nephews did much of the damage for Mountainair. Sophomore Santana Zamora rushed for 138 yards — all but 31 in the second half — while freshman Cimarron Zamora added 113 yards on 15 carries. Each scored a touchdown.
Santana Zamora, in fact, put the Mustangs on the board with a 65-yard TD run on the first play after the Eagles’ second possession of the second half ended with a punt. A 2-point conversion made it 8-6.
Cimarron Zamora added a 26-yard scoring run early in the final period. He threw a 5-yard TD pass to junior Kyle Eddy with 8:22 left.
The Mustangs’ defense did whatever else needed to be done, pressuring sophomore quarterback Kevin Naceanceno into a rough night passing.
“They did an incredible job on us,” Swann said. “They did some things (on defense) that we weren’t expecting.”
CCS led 6-0 after Naceanceno hooked up with Cordy Wilhoit on a 31-yard scoring pass in the first quarter, and had a chance to add to it after reaching the Mustangs’ 8 midway through the second quarter. But Naceanceno was intercepted on the next play by senior linebacker Patrick Romero, who had two of Mountainair’s three picks.
Both teams face top-ranked Melrose next — Mountainair hosts the Buffaloes next week. The Eagles begin district play in Melrose on Oct. 16 after a bye.