ROSWELL — Clovis High’s football team came away from its annual preseason scrimmage against Las Cruces High on Friday feeling pretty good about itself.
The Wildcats, ranked fifth in Class 5A in the preseason, and the third-ranked Bulldawgs went toe-to-toe at the Wool Bowl and neither had a decided advantage.
“We were physical today on defense,” CHS defensive coordinator Darren Kelley said. “We did a good job of taking away some of the things they like to do.”
The first units went 15 plays each, then the second teams did likewise before the first teams took over again. Kelley said nobody scored on either of the first two sessions, while both teams scored in the third.
The Cats scored on a 50-yard pass play from senior quarterback Tre Orozco to senior wide receiver Jonathan Johnson. Kelley said a broken coverage led to a long pass play that helped set up the Cruces tally.
The teams then went on goalline situations, each scoring. Clovis TDs came on runs of 10 yards by Boone Wheeler and 1 yard by Martin Lopez.
Kelley said the Cats missed the services of senior tackle Michael Mileg, out 6-8 weeks with a broken leg, on the offensive line. Mileg had surgery on Monday.
“Offensively right now, our offensive line is so young,” Kelley said. “We did a good job of running the ball and making first downs, but we’ve got to get better and protecting (for Orozco on pass plays).”
He said senior linebacker Nick Lekovich, junior end Dijon Ford and senior end Kaven Cramer all played well on defense.
“We competed well,” Kelley said. “We had no major injuries, and that’s always a good thing. We got better as the scrimmage went.”
Clovis opens its regular season on Friday night at Alamogordo.
Rams play well — At Lubbock, the Portales Rams took on the Lubbock Roosevelt Eagles in a scrimmage and coach Mark McAfee said his squqd played reasonably well.
The teams went 15 plays with the first teams, then 10 with the second before repeating it. They then played a “live” quarter, with each side getting two possessions starting from their own 30-yard-line.
“We started off a little sluggish,” McAfee said. “In the 50 plays, they scored on us three times.
“When we went to the live quarter we ended up beating them one (score) to nothing.”
PHS performed much better than it did in last year’s scrimmage with the Eagles, McAfee said.
“Our play-action passing game looked pretty good,” he said. “We didn’t catch the ball as good as I’d have liked,” he said. “Defensively we played really good in the live quarter.”
PHS opens its season next Friday against Las Vegas Robertson at Greyhound Stadium.