After giving up two big plays for touchdowns in the first quarter, the Clovis Christian Eagles (2-0) tagged the Springer Red Devils (0-2) with a bruising 72-12 loss.
Eagles junior running back Mike Urioste accounted for five of Clovis Christian’s touchdowns and harassed Springer with three interceptions on defense.
“We played good tonight,” Urioste said. “I have to thank my blockers, without them I would have been nothing.”
Urioste said he was accustomed to carrying the ball to paydirt from last year but the three picks, including one returned 62 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter, pleased and surprised him.
“I didn’t have three all last year,” he said.
Springer got the first score of the evening with a 44-yard connection from senior quarterback Devin Montoya to Buster Balizan.
The Eagles answered on the next play from scrimmage with a 64-yard touchdown from quarterback Kevin Naceanceno to Urioste with 10:21 left in the first quarter and the conversion by Cordy Wilhoit the Eagles led 8-6.
Springer used a 50-yard run by Montoya to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by sophomore Jacob Romero to make it 14-12 with 6:19 to play in the first.
After trading touchdowns through the first period, Clovis Christian grabbed a 20-12 lead by the start of the second quarter and the rest was an offensive clinic by the Eagles.
“I thought we just played really well,” said Clovis Christian coach Jason Swann. “Springer really is not a bad team. I take my hat off to their kids.”
Swann said it was important for his team to stay focused despite the lopsided halftime score of 42-12. Urioste said he and his teammates took that advice to heart.
“When we came out in the second half we didn’t let down,” Urioste said. “We didn’t let the scoreboard cool us down.”
For Clovis Christian senior linebacker and wide receiver Scott Steelman, the team effort felt good.
“We came out and we played hard,” Steelman said. “We allowed a few touchdowns early but didn’t let that get us down.”
Swann said he was pleased with his team’s all-around game but was concerned about the two big plays in the first quarter.
“The defense has been playing good except we gave up some big plays,” Swann said. “That had me a little upset.”
Naceanceno racked up 294 yards passing on a 19-of-21 night. CCS raced to a 253-yard performance on the ground with Naceanceno accounting for 190 yards rushing and a touchdown.
In addition to Urioste’s five touchdowns, CCS also got two touchdowns each from Naceanceno and Wilhoit and one from Steelman.
CCS travels to Roswell to take on Valley Christian Academy Friday while Springer has a bye week.