Time and time again, the Clovis Wildcats finished drives in the Hobbs end zone. They didn’t start drives too far away.
Whether by interception return, kick return, fumble return, or poor special teams play from Hobbs, the Wildcat offense had short fields en route to Friday’s 58-0 victory.
The average Clovis drive started on the Hobbs 40, and only two of Clovis’ 10 drives started in their own territory — both the result of Hobbs turnovers. Hobbs, meanwhile, only got inside the Clovis 40 two times.
A few of the plays that led to short fields included:
• A 48-yard fumble return by senior Scott McMath, setting up a second-quarter drive at the Hobbs 6. The drive lasted one play, with McMath finishing the job on a run up the middle.
• A badly-shanked fourth-quarter punt by Hobbs’ Juhreese Thompson, which sailed out of bounds at the Hobbs 29 for a 5-yard gain and two yards short of the first-down marker.
• A kick return off a safety of roughly 50 yards by senior Stefan Mills, which could have been a score had he not been swallowed by an open-field tackle from Thompson, who appears to be politely listed at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds on the Hobbs roster.
Cats reach milestones: Mills had 85 yards rushing to break the 1,000-yard milestone, and he now leads the Wildcats with 1,059 yards on the ground. Senior CB Josh Bryan had his eighth and ninth interceptions, tying the 2007 mark set by Jaden Isler.
Few flags: There was Wildcat purple and Eagle gold, but very little yellow seen at Leon Williams Stadium with officials deciding to let the rivals play.
There were no penalties called on Hobbs, and while a holding call stalled Clovis’ first drive, the Wildcats had little reason to complain about four flags for 35 yards.
Hill of a debut: Sophomore Jordan Hill was one of several Wildcats added to the roster from junior varsity teams. Senior receiver Moses Bibbs said Hill and others asked him how to handle the transition. His advice: “Just play.”
Lesson taken. Hill intercepted a halfback pass late in the fourth quarter and returned it to the Hobbs 38. He then stepped in at quarterback on the ensuing series and handed it off to fellow sophomore Juan Rivas, who weaved his way to a 42-yard scoring run for the final exclamation point.
Best drive: Cat Tracks is generally a fan of long drives — they give an offense rhythm, they wear down the defense and the keep the opposing offense off the field.
Friday night was no exception, as Clovis’ best drive was a 14-play, 94-yard marathon covering 6:07 of clock time late in the second quarter.
Quarterback Kyler Brewer found Bryan for a 14-yard reception on an early third down, Mills ran for 4 yards on a fourth down and Brewer had a 19-yard keeper before Mills finished the drive with a 1-yard plunge.
Worst drive: Clovis had one turnover — a fumble lost by James Howard while fighting for extra yardage on the first Clovis drive of the second half. Otherwise, Howard impressed with 10 carries for 103 yards.
Best defensive series: Hobbs’ second drive went to third down, and quarterback Kyle Niemeyer got three yards until the ball was stripped and ended up in the hands of senior LB Lane Ward.
Worst defensive series: Slim pickings when the Eagles only gained 152 yards. Clovis’ “worst” performance is probably the next-to-last drive of the first half, when Niemeyer completed a 41-yard strike to Michael Andrews at the Clovis 28.
The drive was pushed back later by a Jared Burns sack, and ended with a Bryan interception.