By Eric Butler
ALBUQUERQUE — Not only did recent Clovis High grads Scott Fahsholtz and Steven Gulley finally got a chance to play side-by-side, but they helped the South dominate the second half of Friday’s 61st annual New Mexico High School Coaches Association Class 4A-5A football game.
Although their South team would go on to take a 19-0 victory at University Stadium, offensive production on both sides was at a minimum through the first two quarters.
Up 3-0 at halftime, a North assistant suggested running behind Gulley and Fahsholtz, who were playing at right guard and right tackle, more often.
“The line coach said, ‘Well, let’s run to the Clovis guys,’” Fahsholtz said. “That made our day right there. It felt pretty damn good.”
The South got a big break early in the second half when a North punt from the 14 fluttered out of bounds after only a 5-yard flight.
Seven plays later, Manzano’s Rodney Ferguson scored from the 1 after breaking loose for several gains running behind the right side of the South line.
The South built the lead to 12-0 later in the third quarter when a bad North snap sailed over the head of Aztec quarterback Nick Adamson for a safety.
After abandoning its passing attack for the better part of two quarters, the South struck for its final touchdown through the air.
With 1:40 left in the game, Artesia’s Taylor Green tiptoed the left sideline of the end zone while pulling in a 11-yard scoring strike from Mayfield’s Jeremy Lawson.
During their senior year at Clovis, Fahsholtz and Gulley played offensive tackle positions — on opposite sides of the Wildcats’ line.
“We wanted to do that our senior year, but coach Roanhaus wouldn’t let us. But we got to do it here,” Gulley said. “It was an awesome experience. I made a lot of good friends — I’ll remember it for a lifetime.
“It was more than I expected it to be,” he added.
Gulley said that the attitude he took into the all-star contest was not much different than how he approached any other contest.
“I just wanted to fire off the ball and hit ‘em. I’m an all-star, they’re an all-star,” Gulley said. “So, whoever gets off the ball the quickest and gets the lowest is going to win down there in the trenches.”
The victory was the 39th for the South, while the North has won 18 overall. There have been four ties.
It was also the fourth straight win for the South and the third consecutive shutout.
The contest wrapped up the annual series of clinics and meetings for the New Mexico High School Coaches Association — a week that included all-star games in volleyball and basketball.
“We went and watched those games (both won by the North). When we came out here, there was just so much intensity,” Fahsholtz said. “We just wanted to pound head-to-head every play.
“They made some comment about fat linemen. I think we kind of showed them what was going on about fat linemen,” he added. “We just worked together as a team and kept it in the South.”
South 19, North 0
South 0 3 9 7 — 19
North 0 0 0 0 — 0
S — Gabe Garcia (Goddard) 29-yard FG
S — Rodney Ferguson (Manzano) 1-yard run (kick failed)
S — Safety, bad snap went out of North end zone
S — Taylor Green (Artesia) 11-yard pass from Jeremy Lawson (Mayfield) (Garcia kick)
First downs 9 4
Rushes-yards 42-125 27-47
Passing yards 84 95
Total yards 209 142
Comp-att-int 7-15-0 4-7-0
Punting 4-34.3 6-28.5
Fumbles-lost 1-0 3-1
Penalties-yards 2-20 1-10