Cats post victory over Goddard

Manuel Robles ran for 161 yards, including touchdown runs of 67 and 52 yards, in Clovis’ win over Goddard on Friday night. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)

By Greg Price: CNJ sports writer

What happened: After a poor defensive showing in the first half, Clovis stepped up in the second half to beat Class 4A Goddard 35-21 Friday at the Wool Bowl.

The Wildcats’ defense was sluggish in the first half, giving up two touchdowns and a 61-yard run. Clovis clamped down in the second half.

“In the second half we were more aggressive defensively,” Clovis assistant coach Darren Kelley said. “The offense did a great job all night, and moved the ball whenever they wanted.”

Junior Manuel Robles’ 52-yard run with a little less than four minutes left sealed Clovis’ second straight win.

Why it happened: Goddard couldn’t contain Robles and senior Brian Mead, who combined to rush for 439 yards. Robles added a 67-yard TD run in the first half and Mead scored on runs of 25, 5, and 49 yards.

“They kept blitzing on the outside,” Robles said of the Goddard defense. “So we exploited their weakness and took advantage of what they gave us.”

Records: Clovis 4-2. Goddard 4-2.

Rocket man: Senior QB/RB Jay Johnson was the Goddard’s primary offensive threat, rushing for 101 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 72 yards and another score.

Johnson played five different positions Friday night.

“Jay does a great job for us, but he just gets so tired having to go both ways,” Goddard coach Sam Jernigan said. “It’d be great to find out what he could do he just played on one side of the ball.”

Offensive hero: Mead finished with 278 yards on 27 carries, pushing him over the 1,000 mark for the season.

Defensive MVP: The Clovis secondary. After giving up three first downs on Goddard’s second-to-last drive, the Cats knocked down three straight passes to prevent the Rockets from tying the game with 5:26 left in the fourth quarter.

Top plays: On the Cats’ third drive of the game, Robles slivered through the Rockets’ overextended defense for a 67-yard touchdown score and a 14-0 Clovis lead.