By Kevin Wilson
CMI staff writer
When you win the battle at the line and give your skill players an open field to work with, football’s not a very complicated game. When you don’t, a night of football is pretty forgettable.
Cherry Creek, Colo., did the former, and consistently got big plays when it needed them en route to a 42-6 win over Clovis Friday night at Leon Williams Stadium.
The Bruins, visiting from the Denver area, scored on their first six drives and allowed just two first downs and 46 yards in the first half while handing the Wildcats their worst opening loss in school history — a 180-degree turnaround from Clovis’ season-opening 55-0 win over rebuilding Santa Fe Capital last year.
“We were Capital tonight,” Clovis coach Eric Roanhaus said. “The Clovis Capital Jaguars. We have to get better, or it’s going to be a long year.”
Friday’s game wasn’t too long, with the clock running throughout the second half as the Bruins held a 35-0 lead at the break with a combination of short fields and big plays. Tight end Mikey McCauley caught four passes for 106 yards in the first quarter, including a 48-yard bomb from Cameron Brucker for the final play of the period to make it 21-0.
“We had a few big plays in the first half, and that got us away from them a little bit,” Cherry Creek coach Dave Logan said. “I was pleased with the effort. I thought we did a good job. We worked on keeping the football secure. Turnovers make the difference in football games, no matter what level. It was one of our points of emphasis.”
The Bruins got the game’s only turnover late in the first, as Mikey Morean picked off a pass from a scrambling Dakotah Yandell at the Clovis 34, leading to an 8-yard scoring run from Milo Hall 99 seconds later.
The game came down to the offensive lines, with numerous holes open for Bruin skill players and Clovis senior Kamal Cass often caught with no open room. There were 18 plays of 10-plus yards on the night, with Cherry Creek making 13 of them.
“We didn’t win the battle in the trenches all night, offensively or defensively,” Roanhaus said. “Our line was dreadful on both sides of the ball.”
The challenge should drop a little for Clovis next week, with a 1 p.m. Saturday contest against Highland at MIlne Stadium, but that was of little concern to Roanhaus on Friday.
“If you don’t block and tackle, it doesn’t matter who you play,” Roanhaus said. “What Kamal made, he made on his own. We had too many negative-yardage plays. One time they rushed just one guy and still sacked us.”