On the right end, there’s senior Dustin Williams. On his left side, there’s senior Morris Sharp.
In his second year as a varsity member, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Sharp usually has the ear of the 6-foot-5, 182-pound Williams.
“He’s pretty vocal,” Williams said. “If he figures out something, he’ll tell me. Vice versa, if I see something, I let him know.”
They’re relying on each other to stop the powerful Goddard running game, and hang the first loss on Class 4A’s top-ranked squad tonight in Roswell.
The Rockets, 14-9 winners at Leon Williams Stadium last season, have averaged more than 45 points per game en route to a 5-0 mark.
Clovis assistant Darren Kelley expects the Wildcats will face a big challenge.
“They’re a good football team, they’re very aggressive and very well-coached,” Kelley said of the Rockets, led by junior quarterback David Vega. “We’ve got to be aggressive. We’ve got to keep our heads up.”
The Rockets are coming off a 64-19 win over Portales last week. Kelley thinks the better comparison to the Wildcats lies in the Rockets game against Rio Rancho two weeks ago.
Both teams took advantage of defensive touchdowns in beating the Rams. Clovis had one in its 21-18 win, while Goddard returned two interceptions for scores in a 52-36 shootout.
“It gets everybody going and everyone goes harder,” Kelley said of defensive scores.
Containing the Goddard offense, Williams and Sharp said, requires adjustments.
They said the Wildcats want to force Goddard runners to the outside where they can get help from the cornerbacks. Normally, the Wildcats funnel runners to the middle.
Attempts to contact Goddard coach Sam Jernigan were unsuccessful.
Clovis (4-1) at Goddard (5-0)
7 p.m. today, Wool Bowl, Roswell
Coaches: Clovis, Eric Roanhaus, 31st season, 284-99-5. Goddard, Sam Jernigan.
Last week: Clovis defeated Rio Rancho 21-18; Goddard defeated Portales 64-19.
Last meeting: 2007, Goddard 14-9.
Goddard players to watch: QB David Vega, WR Hobie McClain, CB Chase Kyser.
On the radio: KCLV 1240 AM, 99.1 FM; KTQM 99.9 FM; KWKA 680 AM; KICA 98.3 FM.
What 2 watch 4: The turnover game. The Wildcats have gone 4-1 despite losing the turnover battle (12-11), but the Rockets usually make quick points off opponents’ mistakes. The Rockets blew Portales away with 21 points in five minutes, and two picks returned for scores provided most of the margin of victory in its 52-36 win against Rio Rancho.
Quick hits: The Freeze Football Ratings predict a close Goddard victory. Compiled by Geoff Freeze of Sandia National Lab, scores are created based on factors like margin of victory and strength of schedule. The difference between two teams’ Freeze ratings is a prediction of a final margin. Goddard is tops in 4A with a score of 154.71, and Clovis is fourth in 5A at 152.88. Senior RBs Stefan Mills and Scott McMath lead the team with six touchdowns each — all on the ground. Nine receivers have caught passes this year, led by Mills (4 receptions, 94 yards) and Josh Bryan (3 for 25). K Andrew North is averaging 47.9 yards per kickoff and 34.1 yards per punt. Moses Bibbs leads the Wildcats on punt returns, averaging 21.0 yards on three returns. Ten Wildcats have double-digit tackle numbers, while four are tied with 3.5 tackles for loss — LB Lane Ward, DE Morris Sharp, LB Emery Sierra and CB Denzel Pleasant.
Go figure: Wildcat opponents are averaging 3.7 yards per offensive play.
— FNM staff