Roswell’s Anthony Urban is tackled by Clovis’ Jason Burns during the second half of Saturday’s game in Roswell. Photo by Eric Kluth
By Dave Wagner
ROSWELL — Much like last year, when Clovis High began the football season with a lackluster loss to Las Cruces Mayfield, the Wildcats were searching for answers after dropping this year’s lidlifter at Mayfield.
It starts by getting a victory, which they did in style in Saturday’s 43-0 demolition of Roswell High at the Wool Bowl.
While they took advantage of a youthful Coyotes roster — Roswell had only 11 seniors — the Cats assumed control from the opening kickoff with a dominating performance.
Now, they want to build on it in Friday’s home opener and homecoming game against Albuquerque Highland at Leon Williams Stadium.
“We really came together this week as a team,” said junior defensive tackle Adam Everett, who started for the first time and collected two of the team’s four first-half sacks. “One win is good, but it’s not the end. We’ve got 11 more (games) to go (in order to reach the state Class 5A finals).”
The Cats opted for a brisk south wind at their backs to start the game, and it turned out to be a prudent move. Senior Jason Seefeld kept the struggling Coyotes backed up by booting kickoffs into the end zone, and the offense and defense did the rest.
“It kind of helped us to have the wind,” Clovis assistant coach Darren Kelley acknowledged. “That meant we were able to work with a shorter field.”
Roswell simply couldn’t escape the shadow of its own end zone, failing to pick up a first down until less than four minutes remained in the half.
Junior John Props, making his first varsity start at quarterback for the Cats, benefited from the situation. Props rushed for a team-leading 86 yards and two touchdowns, and was an efficient 3 of 4 through the air for 73 yards.
His first two throws went for touchdowns — 40 yards to senior Ben Teconchuk and 11 yards to senior Mark Young. His other first-half pass was almost a touchdown — a deep ball late in the half that went off Teconchuk’s fingertips.
His final throw came on the second play after halftime, a 22-yard completion to Young that set up Shea Chase’s 3-yard touchdown run and made it 29-0.
Props said he got a lot of help from his teammates.
“Everything just opened up tonight,” said Props, who replaced senior Ryan Denton, out indefinitely with a concussion. “I saw everything clear and made the right decisions. And we didn’t have any turnovers, which is good. You can’t win if you turn the ball over.”