Nobody in a Wildcat uniform would disagree with Jonathan Langan’s notion that a touchdown catch is the best feeling in the world.
But how to celebrate? As Langan and Emery Sierra showed in Friday’s 26-14 win over Eldorado, there’s some room for argument.
Langan, a 5-foot-10 senior, wasn’t the first option late in the second quarter, when a shanked Eldorado punt gave Clovis a first and goal on the Eagles 7.
“We were running a play where it was supposed to go to (junior) Darien (Borders),” said Langan. “I kind of sat where the defense wasn’t. Kyler (Brewer-Hill, quarterback) and I made eye contact. He threw it as hard as he could and I made sure I caught it.”
He went to celebrate with Emery Sierra, but ended up on the Leon Williams Stadium turf.
“I thought we were going to jump up and chest bump,” Langan said, instead noting that Sierra went for a low bear hug. “He just buried me.”
Sierra, who played minutes at fullback and scored his own touchdown on a 22-yard interception return, said the celebration was all in fun.
“They didn’t hit him,” Sierra joked. “I had to.”
The Cat is back: As a motivational tool following a two-game losing streak, Wildcats coaches covered the logo in the center of the football locker room. The players returned from a 21-17 loss to Rio Rancho to find the covering, with a piece of paper that read, “This locker room was once inhabited by players who acted, practiced and played like champions.”
Now that Clovis is on a two-game winning streak, the players got the honor of ripping off the cover.
“That doesn’t happen around here, that shouldn’t have happened,” Sierra said. “We weren’t doing what we have to do.”
But the motivation is still there for the Wildcats. The metal sign that reads, “There’s nothing tougher than a Wildcat” is gone. On each Clovis locker Friday was a sheet of paper that read, “Once upon a time, there was nothing tougher than a Wildcat.”
Best drive: No contest. Clovis entered its final drive up 20-14 with 7:11 to play, and burned up all but 1:09 with an 11-play, 58-yard effort. Junior Jordan Hill started things off by returning a squib kick to the 42, and Brewer-Hill found Richie Chavez for an 18-yard gain on a third down.
Chavez’ catch was the only passing play of the drive, and Brewer-Hill took in a 1-yard sneak to shut the door on Eldorado.
Worst drive: Also not much of a contest. After Eldorado got on the board with a 2-yard run from quarterback Arvin Day, it was a 20-7 Clovis lead with 10:13 to go.
The Wildcats managed just four yards on the run, but lost 10 yards on a block in the back penalty. The Eagles recovered a Quran Wiggins fumble on the Clovis 25, then scored five plays later.
Best defensive series: Langan’s catch might not have happened without Clovis holding Eldorado deep in its own territory. After Andrew North, who had a pair of field goals, pinned the Eagles with a punt downed at the 2, the defense stuffed a pair of Marcus Dunning runs before the Eldorado punt was shanked and went out of bounds at the 7.
The drive could have been much worse for the Eagles, but Day pounced on a fumbled snap at the 1 on second down.
Worst defensive series: The Eagles had two scoring drives, but one of them came on a 25-yard field.
That makes the other Eldorado scoring drive the winner. The Eagles avoided a three-and-out when Dunning fought to get a 6-yard catch on third and 5. Senior Gary Maestas came up big, darting through holes for a 33-yard run to push the ball to the Clovis 11.
Eldorado went to third down one more time on the drive, and that play ended with Day in the end zone on a 2-yard sneak.
Next: The Wildcats hit the road to face Artesia Friday for their final tuneup before a bye week and the start of District 4-5A play Oct. 30 against Carlsbad.