Jason Burns (left) and Juan Gutierrez of Clovis stop Mayfield’s Seth McKinney for a short gain. (CNJ photo by Rick White)
By Rick White
Mayfield coach Jim Bradley lost track of time watching his second-ranked Trojans manhandle the Clovis Wildcats.
With his team hogging the ball with a brutish ground game, Bradley wasn’t even aware the last 17 minutes of the second half was played with a running clock.
The state runner-up in Class 5A the last three years, Mayfield already looked in playoff form in Friday’s season opener, pounding Clovis 35-0 in a mercy-rule-shortened game at Leon Williams Stadium.
“I’ve been playing (Clovis coach Eric) Roanhaus since 1980, and the shoe’s been on the opposite foot at times,” Bradley said. “He just didn’t have the team tonight.”
It is the third straight season the Trojans have beaten Clovis in the teams’ season-opener and the second time by shutout.
Clovis defensive coordinator Darren Kelley was appalled at the Wildcats’ inability to execute the basics, especially on defense.
“When you can’t block and you can’t tackle it doesn’t really matter,” Kelley said. “You have to make a play when you’ve got a chance. We were right there and couldn’t make a play.
“It wasn’t just one player or a few players,” Kelley said of the Wildcats’ ineptitude. “It was a team effort.”
Clovis didn’t force Mayfield to punt until late in the fourth quarter. Not that it did any good because Clovis bobbled the punt and the Trojans recovered at the Wildcat 26, then ran out the clock.
Senior quarterback Ryan Hooker and tailback Seth McKinney led a balanced running attack for the Trojans, who scored on their first four possessions en route to a 28-0 halftime lead.
Making his first varsity start, Hooker looked like a polished veteran, rushing for 99 yards and completing his only pass for a 33-yard score. McKinney rumbled for 86 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The score with 5:57 left in the third quarter gave Mayfield a 35-0 lead and triggered the mercy rule.
“We just did a lot of things right,” said Bradley, normally a tough man to please. “We played a near damn perfect game.
“We can throw the ball, but we came out with the idea we were going to run a conservative offense. We’ve got the runners.”
Mayfield scored back-to-back touchdowns in the first quarter to gain control of the contest early. The first was a 14-yard run by McKinney to cap the game’s opening drive. Oran Gonzales scored from 35 yards out after Clovis fumbled the ensuing kickoff. Gonzales started to sweep right, cut back, and raced to the end zone untouched.
Clovis, which had just five possessions in the game, finished with 124 yards, including 102 on the ground.
The Wildcats were limited to two offensive possessions in the second half, both started inside their 20 and both ended with punts.
Junior Tanner Fickling slashed his way for 42 yards on six carries to lead the Wildcats.
“The only good thing about this game is we can only get better from here,” said Kelley, pressed to find a something positive about the loss.
Mayfield 21 7 7 0 — 35
Clovis 0 0 0 0 — 0
M — Seth McKinney 14-yard run (Jason Wuerz kick), 7:26. Drive: 62 yards in 8 plays. Key plays: McKinney 12-yard to midfield. Hooker 14-yard run to Clovis 11. Mayfield 7, Clovis 0.
M — Oran Gonzales 35-yard run (Wuerz kick), 7:08. Drive: 35 yards in 1 play. Key plays: Donnine Apodaca recovers fumble at Clovis 35. Mayfield 14, Clovis 0.
M — McKinney 1-yard run (Wurez kick), 1:07. Drive: 80 yards in 7 plays. Key plays: McKinney 2-yard run to Clovis 30 on 3rd-and-2. Mayfield 21, Clovis 0.
M — T.J Garcia 14-yard run (Wuerz kick), 6:27. Drive: 49 yards in 6 plays. Key plays: Hooker 24-yard run to Clovis 21. Xavier Jaquez 12-yard run to Clovis 9. Mayfield 28, Clovis 0.
M — Donnie Apodaca 33-yard pass from Hooker (Wuerz kick), 5:57. Drive: 50 yards in 5 plays. Key plays: McKinney 4-yard run to Clovis 29 on 3rd-and-3. Mayfield 35, Clovis 0.
First downs 15 6
Rushes-yards 41-302 21-102
Passing yards 40 22
Total yards 342 124
Comp-att-int 2-2-0 2-7-1
Punting 1-27 4-38
Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-2
Penalties-yards 6-50 6-37
RUSHING — Mayfield, Seth McKinney 14-86, Ryan Hooker 8-99, T.J. Garcia 1-14, Oran Gonzales 3-43, Xavier Jaquez 9-27, David Bustillos 1-6, Charles Carrasco 5-14, William Kahl 1-2. Clovis, Phillip Williams 9-36, Tanner Fickling 6-42, John Props 5-7.
PASSING — Mayfield, Hooker 1-1-33-0, Bustillos 1-1-7-0. Clovis, Props 2-7-22-1.
RECEIVING — Mayfield, Donnie Apodaca 1-33, Matt Holmes 1-7. Clovis, Chris Finch 1-9, Damian Robinson 1-13.
RECORDS — Mayfield 1-0, Clovis 0-1.