The momentum for the Hobbs Eagles was flying high early Friday night, like Tanner Wilson’s high-arcing pass to his brother Tyler.
But the pass bounced out of the open receiver’s hands, and Hobbs’ momentum soon followed:
• A 51-yard punt return by junior Tre Orozco, topped off by a two-play drive.
• A fumble lost on the next drive, with Orozco going 51 yards for the touchdown on Clovis’ ensuing play.
After that, the momentum stayed squarely in the Wildcats’ corner in a 54-14 victory.
A Wilson-to-Wilson connection would have been a 7-0 lead against a Wildcats team that hasn’t won a game where the opposition scored first.
Instead, it was a bullet they dodged, and a lesson learned.
“The secondary wasn’t in that deep third area,” Clovis defensive coordinator Darren Kelley said. “We’ve got to be disciplined and do our jobs. We let one guy get behind us later, but they didn’t see him.”
Clovis defenders gave up just one pass the rest of the night, a 9-yarder to Josh Schroeder.
I see a “C”: The Wildcats traditionally have to win two straight games before their helmets are adorned with the Clovis “C.” However, that hasn’t happened yet, and the purple helmets have been decorated since a week ago against Manzano.
Kelley said that coach Eric Roanhaus sometimes makes exceptions for standout performances, and holding Artesia to seven points on Oct. 1 was just such an occasion.
Play of the game, offense: Orozco’s first run put him more than halfway to the century mark rushing — a milestone he reached early in the fourth quarter.
But the run also made a statement early, as he juked a pair of Eagle defenders to the turf before weaving his way through the secondary and into the north end zone.
Clovis had its share of highlights, however, as they posted their second-straight week of 500-plus yards.
“Backs were hitting the hole really hard,” center Carlos Garza said. “They weren’t covering the outside well. Everything was in place.”
Play of the game, defense: Orozco wouldn’t have been in that position without the Wildcats forcing the early turnover.
Defensive end Armando Lopez gave Clovis that chance, recovering a fumble from Hobbs fullback Reggie Mackey. It was the only Hobbs turnover on the night.
A pair of 8s: There were five punts in the game, all from the Eagles. It wasn’t that the Wildcats was playing risky. They never had to make a fourth-down gamble, going 8-of-8 on third down.
Clovis averaged nearly 14 yards on third-down plays.
Next: The Wildcats are off while Hobbs and Carlsbad battle, then Clovis travels to Carlsbad Nov. 5. Garza said it’s good to go into an open week on a high note.
“It gives us a really big lift going into what the coaches call the second season,” Garza said. “We’re clicking on all cylinders now. We just need to work a little on our blocking and tackling.”