ARTESIA — A battle between two of New Mexico’s most storied high school football programs boiled down to run versus pass.
Run won, as the Clovis Wildcats picked up 422 yards on the ground in a 48-10 rout Friday night at the Bulldog Bowl.
Clovis (6-2), winners of three straight heading into a bye week, threw the ball once all night and got 100-yard games from juniors Quran Wiggins (20-197) and Raymond Beachum (17-104).
“We did a lot better than we have in the past,” said Clovis senior offensive lineman Chris Sharp, whose inside block sprung Wiggins free for a 59-yard touchdown run to give Clovis a lead it never relinquished. “(It was all about) effort and attitude.”
Wiggins also went for scoring runs of 1 and 9 yards, and accounted for 20 of the Wildcats’ 55 carries on the night.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats’ defense intercepted a pair of Artesia passes and sat back on most routes, including one by senior Blake Wiley which set up a 9-yard TD run from Jordan Hill late in the second quarter.
“It's fun,” Wiley said of playing the pass-first Bulldogs. “You get to be all over the field.”
The Bulldogs posted 349 yards of offense, but 78 of the yards came on the game’s final drive, which ended with Houghtaling stuffed at the 2-yard line as time expired by the Wildcats’ second unit.
“We did a pretty good job up front offensively and defensively,” Clovis assistant coach Darren Kelley said. “We were pretty physical.”
Clovis’ lone pass was a 16-yard toss from Hill to Edwin Lee, on a drive that ended in a 1-yard sneak for a TD by Hill.
Beachum and Travis Davis had Clovis’ other touchdowns.
Artesia coach Cooper Henderson, whose team has been outscored 90-17 in the last two contests against the Wildcats and Las Cruces High, said it came down to nothing but Clovis being the better team.
“I’m proud of our guys,” Henderson said. “They competed until the end, even though it was a bad matchup. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see those guys playing in December.”
Kelley said the Wildcats gave up a few big plays, like a 19-yard touchdown reception by Andy Lopez to put Artesia on the board in the second quarter. But they avoided giving up the “home run” plays, Kelley said.
“We had some breakdowns,” he said, “but the times we had breakdowns our pressure was good enough that (Artesia junior Josh Houghtaling) couldn’t find the holes.”
Clovis 48, Artesia 10
Clovis 7 20 14 7 — 48
Artesia 0 10 0 0 — 10
• First quarter
C – Quran Wiggins 59 run (Andrew North kick), 4:30. 4 plays/80 yards/1:40.
• Second quarter
C – Jordan Hill 1 run (kick failed), 8:27; 11 plays/75 yards/5:10; Key plays, Hill 16 pass to Edwin Lee, Wiggins 11 run.
A – Josh Houghtaling 19 pass to Andy Lopez (Rolando Chavarria kick), 5:10; 8 plays/53 yards/3:17; Key plays, Deven Nelson 14 pass to Ryan Bledsoe.
C – Wiggins 1 run (North kick), 2:31; 6 plays/28 yards/2:39; Key plays, Emery Sierra 60 kickoff return, Kyler Brewer-Hill 10 run on third and 1.
C – Hill 9 run (North kick), 5 plays/58 yards/:49; Key plays, Blake Wiley interception; Hill 25 run.
A – Chavarria 24 FG, :00; 3 plays/60 yards/:39.
• Third quarter
C – Wiggins 9 run (North kick), 8:16; 7 plays/52 yards/3:44; Key plays, Raymond Beachum 17 run on second and 22.
C – Raymond Beachum 5 run (North kick), 10 plays/45 yards/4:22; Key plays, Wiggins 9 run on third down.
• Fourth quarter
C – Travis Davis 6 run (North kick), 5:00; 12 plays/50 yards/7:00; Key plays, Brewer-Hill 11 run on third and 5, Davis 10 run on fourth and 8.
Rushing: Clovis, Quran Wiggins 20-197, Raymond Beachum 17-104, Jordan Hill 7-58, Kyler Brewer-Hill 4-31, Travis Davis 6-30, Michael Johnson 1-3. Artesia, Andy Lopez 10-56, Deven Nelson 8-23, Koby Caton 3-12, Josh Houghtaling 2-9, Dylan Romine 1-1.
Passing: Clovis, Hill 1-1-0. Artesia, Houghtaling 16-25-2, 208 yds; Nelson 5-9-0, 40 yds.
Receiving: Clovis, Edwin Lee 1-16. Artesia, Caton 8-109, Nelson 5-56, Lopez 4-35, Rolando Chavarria 3-27, Ryan Bledsoe 2-21.