Clovis senior running back Mark Replogle is one of five Wildcats who has rushed for more than 100 yards on the season. Photo by Eric Kluth.
Although Clovis has won three of its last four games by significant margins, the Wildcats’ coaching staff has developed a method to keep the team from getting too excited.
Strength of schedule.
Amarillo Tascosa is 1-4 on the year after being smothered 31-7 by the Cats last week.
And that’s good, compared to Roswell High and Valley — teams Clovis (3-2) shut out earlier by a combined 85-0. The Coyotes and Vikings are still winless on the year.
The teams that beat Clovis — Mayfield and Highland — are a combined 5-2.
Tonight, Clovis hosts a young but improving Goddard squad which, like the Wildcats, is 3-2. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Leon Williams Stadium.
“We keep reminding them that Tascosa only has one win and the other teams are oh-for. Between the three teams, they’re about 1-12,” Clovis defensive coordinator Darren Kelley said. “Tascosa was a good win for us. Mentally, to do some of the things we did and shut them down the way we did — that helps us.
“Hopefully, the kids will start believin’ in it, but not start relaxin’,” Kelley added.
The message seems to be taking root.
“Well, on the offensive line, we need to start communicating better,” said senior lineman Steven Gulley. “We are getting better, but we still need to practice hard, work hard.”
Clovis beat Goddard 14-7 last year in the battle of former district rivals. The Rockets went on to reach the Class 4A state championship game, losing to Onate.
Goddard relies on a pair of sophomores on offense in quarterback Jesus Baca and running back Tommy Spangler, who led the Rockets to a 33-18 last week over Portales.
Kelley said his defensive will also have to keep an eye on Goddard senior running back Gabe Garcia.
“He lines up all over the place,” Kelley said. “He lines up wherever they need to throw the football to.”
On defense, Goddard is led by linebackers Ryan Pasnewski and Drew Jurney. Senior JayDe Fulkerson is an anchor on the line.
“We played a good game against Tascosa, even though the second half was kind of iffy,” said Clovis running back Shea Chase, noting the Wildcats built a 24-0 halftime lead over the Rebels. “Against Goddard, we’ve just got to come out and play hard and get our heads into it.”
Clovis is off next week before starting District 4-5A play Oct. 18 at Eldorado.
Goddard at Clovis
7:30 p.m., today
Leon Williams Stadium
RECORDS: Goddard 3-2, Clovis 3-2
LAST MEETING: Clovis 14-7, 2002
COACHES: Goddard, Sam Jermigan; Clovis, Eric Roanhaus,
OFFENSE/DEFENSE: Goddard, multiple/50; Clovis, pro-set/50
LAST WEEK: Goddard jumped out to a 27-0 second-quarter lead en route to a 33-18 win over Portales. Clovis manhandled Tascosa 31-7.
GODDARD PLAYERS TO WATCH:Gabe Garcia, RB/S, 5-10, 170, Sr.; Jesus Baca, QB/CB, 5-9, 165, So.; Tommy Spangler, RB, 5-10, 175, So.; Ryan Pasnewski, LB, 5-10, 170, Sr.
QOUTABLE: “They’ve got a really good offense and they’ve got a couple of sophomores who are really stepping it up. They’re up on varsity and starting — so they’ve got to be pretty decent just to be there.” — Clovis senior Shea Chase
ON THE RADIO: KWCA, 680 AM, KCLV, 1240 AM, KKYC, 102.3 FM or KICA, 980 AM