Clovis needed little motivation against District 4-5A rival Hobbs with a district title on the line.
James Howard gave it to them anyway.
Howard rushed for 22 yards on the game’s first play, and flirted with a 100-yard game in the first quarter as the Clovis Wildcats dealt a 58-0 whipping to the Eagles Friday night at Leon Williams Stadium.
“I was thinking I had to get my teammates pumped up,” who posted 89 of his 103 rushing yards in a 14-0 first quarter for Clovis (9-1, 2-0 district). “From then on, the (energy) just kicked in.”
The energy never left, as the Wildcats led 28-0 less than two minutes into the second quarter, held the Eagles to 152 yards and scored 28 points off five Hobbs turnovers.
All the breaks went Clovis’ way en route to its fifth consecutive district championship, but assistant Darren Kelley said, “We did a pretty good job of making some of our breaks.
“I think the defense did a good job chasing down the football,” Kelley continued. “We also capitalized on some turnovers.”
Senior defensive end Morris Sharp, whose third-quarter sack pinned Hobbs at its 1-yard line for a punt attempt that ended in a safety, said the team’s first shutout is a bonus going into the playoffs.
“We know it’s going to get tougher every week,” Sharp said, “and knowing we have the potential to do that gives us a big boost.”
While the defense was dominating, so was the offense, with seven Wildcats scoring touchdowns.
“We don’t like Hobbs whatsoever,” said senior running back Scott McMath, who scored on a 6-yard run after setting up the drive with a 48-yard fumble return. “It gave us the motivation (all night) to go out and get some points up.”
Clovis emptied its bench in a running-clock second half, and Hobbs (4-6, 1-1) still couldn’t stop fourth-quarter scores from Sebastian Flores and Juan Rivas.
“It was good to play everybody; everybody deserves to play,” Kelley said. “It was a fun night.”
Now, Clovis plays a waiting game. Kelley is confident the Wildcats have earned either a No. 3 or 4 seed in the 12-team playoffs. The top four seeds get a first-round bye and a second-round home game.
Seeding will take place tonight in Albuquerque. Teams expected to get top seeds are Las Cruces and Eldorado, both 10-0, Clovis and Mayfield (8-2). Clovis’ chances at the third seed improved with Las Cruces’ 22-21 victory over Mayfield Friday night.
Hobbs coach Philip Roybal declined a post-game interview request.
Clovis 58, Hobbs 0
Hobbs 0 0 0 0 — 0
Clovis 14 21 9 14 — 58
C — Stefan Mills 13 run (Andrew North kick), 9:28; 4 plays/42 yards/1:49; Key plays, James Howard 23 run.
C — Howard 10 run (North kick), 3:22; 4 plays/43 yards/1:34; Key plays, Howard 26 run.
C — Kyler Brewer 10 pass to Johnny Maes (North kick), 11:55; 6 plays/56 yards/2:13; Key plays, Mills 19 run, Brewer 11 pass to Mills.
C — Scott McMath 6 run (North kick), 10:08; 1 play/6 yards/:11; Key play, 48 fumble return by McMath on preceding Hobbs series.
C — Mills 1 run (North kick), 2:02; 14 plays/94 yards/6:07; Key plays, Brewer 14 pass to Josh Bryan on 3rd and 4, Mills 4 run on 4th down, Mills 24 run, Brewer 19 run.
C — Safety, Juhreece Thompson tackled in end zone, 5:11.
C — Emery Sierra 2 run (North kick), 6 plays/26 yards/4:08; Key plays, Mills 44 return on kickoff, Brewer 11 run, Brewer 8 pass to Howard on 3rd down.
C — Sebastian Flores 21 run (North kick), 2 plays/29 yards/:58.
C — Juan Rivas 42 run (North kick), 1 play/42 yards/:41; Key plays, Jordan Hill 38 interception return on preceding Hobbs series.
First Downs 8 18
Rushes-Yards 30-69 35-317
Passing Yards 83 69
Total Yards 152 386
Comp/Att/INT 5-20-3 7-9-0
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 2-2
Punts-Avg. 3-17.0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 0-0 4-35
Rushing: Hobbs, Patrick Smith 14-40, Michael Andrew 5-18, Kyle Niemeyer 8-7, Daniel Mendoza 2-5, Juhreece Thompson 1-minus 1; Clovis, James Howard 10-103, Stefan Mills 12-85, Juan Rivas 1-42, Scott McMath 5-28, Sebastian Flores 1-21, Kyler Brewer 3-28, Roderick Taylor 1-8, Emery Sierra 1-2, Moses Bibbs 1-0.
Passing: Hobbs, Niemeyer 5-19-2, Willy Jenks 0-1-1; Clovis, Kyler Brewer 6-7-0-55-1, Josh Potocki 1-2-0-14-0.
Receiving: Hobbs: Jared Baeza 1-41, Mendoza 1-24, Richard Rendon 2-17, Andrews 1-1; Clovis, Richie Chavez 2-17, Josh Bryan 1-14, Mills 1-11, Johnny Maes 1-10, McMath 1-9, Howard 1-8.