Sticking up for each other on the field, and sticking their support on their legs.
The Clovis Wildcats showed unity in stopping Artesia’s offense consistently in a 13-7 win Friday night, and stuck up for teammate Sergio Martinez with their pink attire.
The pink, shown mostly with athletic tape, was to show support for breast cancer awareness. Martinez’ grandmother, Arlene Martinez, was diagnosed a few months ago, and he’s honored her with pink shin guards.
He was joined by Kenny Betts, Zeke Rodriguez and Steven Cope.
“I support him, and he’s a good friend,” Rodriguez said of Martinez, noting that some of his own family members have beaten breast cancer. “And I support his grandmother.”
The guys with the high roster numbers also supported a defense that gave up 227 yards and held a potent Bulldogs offense 40 points under its season average.
“We did a good job up front,” Clovis assistant coach Darren Kelley said. “With Kenny and Fred (Kelley) and Kaven (Creamer) and Sergio, they did a great job of controlling the line of scrimmage.”
Play of the game: Despite their troubles on offense, the Bulldogs had their fare share of chances to steal the victory at Leon Williams Stadium.
Artesia had just taken advantage of an end-zone pick, and gotten over some early trouble on the ensuing drive. It took the Bulldogs nearly three minutes to get a first down when they started at their own 10, but they needed just two plays to more from the 21 to the 46.
They got no further, as Orozco cut in front of a quick out pass Josh Houghtalking threw to his right side.
“They’ve got some great athletes,” said Orozco, whose play at strong safety was a big part of Artesia only getting 112 yards through the air. “We gave 100 percent tonight, and that’s what it’s going to take every week.”
Getting it done on the run: There were a few reasons Clovis wanted to avoid the pass on offense. An obvious one was standing on the sidelines — No. 1 receiver Corbin Best, who has three touchdown catches this year, was held out with a rib injury suffered last week against Goddard.
The second reason was also obvious — the Wildcats were getting it done on the ground, and the run game kept Artesia off the field. Clovis had a 15-play drive that ended with a 1-yard sneak from Jordan Hill, and a nine-play drive and 14-play drive that did not produce points but limited Bulldogs chances.
Quran Wiggins was held out in the first quarter due to disciplinary reasons — Kelley said Wiggins was late to a film session — but still was trusted later on for 21 carries and a team-high 103 yards. Raymond Beachum carried 13 times for 97 yards, while Jordan Hill called his own number 19 times for 45 yards.
Few flags: The Wildcats didn’t have many penalties, with four flags for 30 yards — 15 on an intentional grounding and five on a delay of game penalty they intentionally took while killing the fourth-quarter clock.
The Bulldogs weren’t far behind, with four flags for 36 yards. They had 15 on a pass interference call, which was later academic because Clovis’ intentional grounding came three plays later.
Next: Manzano, ranked third in Class 5A, will visit Leon Williams Stadium Friday. The Monarchs, 4-1, were idle this weekend.
“They’re a spread team that really likes to run the ball,” Kelley said, “if that makes sense.”