Clovis senior Phillip Williams is tackled by Goddard’s Josh Nine during Friday’s game at the Wool Bowl in Roswell. (Roswell Daily Record: Andrew Kroeckel.)
By John Eisel: CNJ sports writer
ROSWELL — It was a story of two defenses and two defensive philosophies.
The difference was Goddard’s aggressive, stunting defensive scheme worked for about a quarter. Clovis’ bend-but-don’t-break scheme worked the entire game.
Phillip Williams rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns Friday as Clovis won its second straight game, blanking Goddard 31-0 on Friday at the Wool Bowl.
Not only did the Wildcats (3-3) end Goddard’s three-game winning streak, but they did it by posting their first shutout of the season.
“The defense just took it to us,” Goddard coach Sam Jernigan said. “Oh, you can always nail it down to something, but it boils down to talent is going to do what talent is going to do, and they’re more talented than we are.”
The Rockets, who came into the game averaging 23.6 points, crossed midfield once — a second-quarter drive that reached the Clovis 23. But the Wildcats held on downs. The defensive stop early in the second quarter not only kept Goddard off the board, but swung the momentum in Clovis’ favor.
“It gave everyone a little boost and it got us going,” Clovis assistant coach Darren Kelley said. “It was a big thing.”
Up until that point, Clovis was forced to punt three times without so much as a first down.
“Goddard does a good job of moving people around and creating havoc and getting up the field,” Kelley said. “You can’t recreate that in practice and it took a couple of series to get used to it.”
Clovis marched right down the field, with Williams scoring on a pitch from 5 yards out. On the drive, Williams had a 29-yard run in which he cut back and through the middle of the Goddard defense.
“Once we figured out what they were doing, it was easy to get blocks,” said Williams, who has rushed for 412 yards the last two weeks.
Those cutbacks served Williams well all night. Although Clovis had plenty of runs that didn’t nudge past the line of scrimmage, three rushes went for 25 yards or more.
“They’re an all-or-nothing defense,” Kelley said. “You’re going to have some plays. As long as you stay consistent, you’re going to break one eventually.”
Clovis contained the two-headed quarterback/running back tandem of Ryan Najar and Jesus Baca most of the game. The two either ran or passed for 138 of Goddard’s 167 total yards. Baca produced 567 yards by himself against Hobbs three weeks ago.
The Wildcats also forced three turnovers, which they turned into 10 points.
“It’s the first time I am can honestly say we did a good job of stopping the big play,” Kelley said.
Senior linebacker Nick Maes intercepted a tipped Baca pass and returned it 19 yards, eventually leading to Travis Reid’s 34-yard field goal near the end of the first half.
Midway through the third quarter, senior defensive back Nick Welsh jarred a pass loose from Goddard’s Steven Chaves and junior linebacker Jonathan Sweet picked up the ball and ran 37 yards to the Goddard 8-yard-line. On the next play, Williams zipped around the right side for his second touchdown.
Goddard had trouble sustaining any offensive success against a Clovis defense that had allowed an average of 26.5 points through its first five games.
Clovis quarterback John Props struggled throwing the ball, completing only two of nine passes for 42 yards.
However, one of those completions went to Damien Robinson for a 33-yard touchdown on fourth-and-7 late in the first half.
Clovis 31, Goddard 0
Clovis 0 17 14 0 — 31
Goddard 0 0 0 0 — 0
Clo — Phillip Williams 5-yard run (Travis Reid kick), 6:10. Drive: 74 yards in 10 plays. Key plays: Williams 29-yard run to the Goddard 23. Clovis 7, Goddard 0.
Clo — Damien Robinson 33-yard pass from John Props (Reid kick), 1:11. Drive:77 yards in 7 plays. Key plays: Williams 44-yard run to Goddard 36. Clovis 14, Goddard 0.
Clo — Reid 34-yard field goal, :26. Drive: -11 yards in 7 plays. Key plays: Nick Maes 19-yard intercption return to the Goddard 6. Clovis 17, Goddard 0.
Clo — Williams 8-yard run (Reid kick), 6:26. Drive: 8 yards in 1 plays. Key plays: Jonathan Sweet 37-yard fumble return to the Goddard 8. Clovis 24, Goddard 0.
Clo — Tanner Fickling 4-yard run (Reid kick), 2:05. Drive: 56 yards in 7 plays. Key plays: Props 28-yard run to the Goddard 28. Clovis 31, Goddard 0.
First downs 13 7
Rushes-yards 49-265 22-55
Passing yards 42 112
Total yards 307 167
Com-att-int 2-9-1 12-23-1
Punts-avg 4-39 7-31
Fumbles-lost 3-1 2-2
Penalties-yards 2-24 5-40
Rushing — Clovis, Phillip Williams 21-137, Tanner Fickling 8-20, Terrance Walker 1-11, John Props 7-42, Brian Mead 6-41, Tim Perkins 7-14. Goddard, Ryan Najar 8-17, Jesus Baca 6-9, Peter Martinez 7-26, Jay Johnson 1-1.
Passing — Clovis, Props 2-9-1-42. Goddard, Baca 12-22-1-95, Najar 1-1-0-17.
Receiving — Clovis, Damien Robinson 2-42. Goddard, Johnson 3-32, Martinez 1-6, Steven Chaves 4-48, Louie Melendez 1-17, Najar 3-16.
Records — Clovis 3-3, Goddard 3-3.