Junior Scott McMath rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown in Clovis’ 24-7 victory over Eldorado on Friday night at Leon Williams Stadium.
Clovis junior Stefan Mills said he blew his initial assignment before delivering the game’s biggest hit in Friday’s 24-7 win over Eldorado.
Mills’ block on Scott McMath’s second-quarter punt return decleated an unsuspecting Eagles defender and sent the home crowd at Leon Williams Stadium into a frenzy.
Mills said he was supposed to block the outside guy on the return, but didn’t do a good job.
“I knew the return was coming back toward me,” Mills said. “I looked at Scott, we made eye contact, and I knew he was going to cut around me.”
Mills lowered his shoulder and sent the Eldorado airborne.
“It help get the crowd into the game,” he said.
Senior Derrick Phillips and McMath flip-flopped between cornerback and running back, and the rotation worked on both sides of the ball.
McMath rushed for 96 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.
Phillips rushed for 16 yards on five carries, including a 1-yard TD run in the first quarter, and added an interception late in the first half.
Senior cornerback Jaden Isler had a hand in four of Eldorado’s six turnovers. He recovered an Eagles’ fumble on the first play from scrimmage and added three second-half interceptions. In fact the Eagles’ final three possessions ended with Isler picks, two on deep throws inside the Clovis 5-yard line.
Senior Robert North showed a strong leg kicking and punting, In addition to his first field goal of the season, three of his five kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. He also got good hang time while averaging 39 yards on four punts.
Best offensive series
The Wildcats’ second TD drive was short and sweet. Starting at the Eldorado 24-yard line after a fumble recovery, senior wide receiver Bryce Hill motored 14 yards around the left side on an end-around. Cutting off the block of guard Gama Carrera on a counterplay, senior Manuel Robles went the final 10 yards nearly untouched.
Worst offensive series
The Wildcats’ first possession of the second half. The drive started with a 5-yard motion penalty. After Robles gained seven yards on two carries, Mendoza was tackled for no gain after he was unable to find an open receiver. It was their only possession in which the Wildcats (1-1) failed to gain a first down.
Best defensive series
With the scored tied at 7 early in the second quarter, Eldorado took possession at the Clovis 35 following an interception.
Three runs between the tackles left the Eagles (0-1) with fourth-and-1. The Eagles opted for a quarterback sneak, but the middle of the Wildcats’ line — anchored by nose guard Daniel Segovia — didn’t budge. The measurement for the first down came up less than an inch short.
The Wildcats responded with a 67-yard drive that resulted in North’s 27-yard field, giving Clovis the lead for good at 10-7.
Worst defensive series
A no-brainer. The Eagles went 79 yards in five plays on its second possession for their only score. Michael Cantwell kept the drive alive when he connected with Ross Williams for a 13-yard gain on third down before Logan Lippert squirted through the right side and raced 65 yards to paydirt.
The Wildcats host Palo Duro.
The Dons struggled to move the ball Friday without starting quarterback Maurice Burk in a 19-7 loss to Amarillo High. The Sandies limited Palo Duro (1-1) to 177 yards without the injured Burks.
Palo Duro rallied to beat Clovis 32-26 in overtime last year.