Senior QB John Props and the Wildcats’ offense wasn’t on the field much last week. Staff photo by Rick White
By Rick White
The last time Clovis traveled to Pampa, Texas, for a football game Heath Parker said he was a sixth-grader chasing girls under the stands.
Two decades later, Parker is still in Pampa but with a much better view of the field as the second-year head coach of the Class 4A Harvesters.
What he thinks he’ll see is tonight is a Clovis team much better than they looked last week in a season-opening blowout loss to Mayfield.
“Clovis mistaked themselves out of the game,” Parker said. “But the thing I noticed is they didn’t quit, they didn’t let Mayfield score again at the end of the game.”
Pampa (0-1) didn’t look much better in a 26-13 loss to Class 3A Perryton.
“Both programs are proud. Both have tradition and both were pretty embarrassed last week,” Parker said.
Clovis senior running back Phillip Williams said it’s been a week of tough love during practice.
“The coaches have really gotten onto us this week,” said Williams, who was limited to 36 yards and coughed up a crucial fumble. “But you’ve got to just realize they’re trying to make us better.”
Clovis struggled to stop the run last week, allowing Mayfield to control the ball and the line of scrimmage.
“We played really bad at the line of scrimmage,” Clovis linebackers coach Darrell Davis said. “Everybody needs to do their job on every play.”
The Harvesters, who went 11-3 and reached the regional semifinals, run a one-back set and like to spread the ball around both on the ground and in the air.
“We’re pretty multiple,” said Parker, who played linebacker for the Harvesters in the early 1990s. “Most of the time we operate out of the shotgun and go with the no huddle. We try to get as many snaps as possible” — which in their opener wasn’t many.
“What’s give us trouble is when a team takes the ball and we never get it back,” Parker said. “Then we start pressing and start making mistakes.”
Clovis moved the ball at times last week, but only had the ball for five possessions. Davis said the Wildcats need to control the ball to keep the team’s battered defense off the field.