ALBUQUERQUE — It's debatable whether Eldorado's two touchdowns in the last four minutes were a product of the Eagles wearing down Clovis, or the Wildcats thinking a 14-0 lead was enough.
What wasn't debated was Eagles coach Charles Dotson's choice to go for two in overtime.
After a Wildcat penalty on Eldorado's extra point moved the ball to the 1 1-2 yard line, the Eagles lined up for a run to win or lose. Gary Maestas plunged through for the two and a 22-21 win, the Eagles' first over Clovis since 1991.
Dotson repeatedly said “if you can't get a yard and a half, you don't deserve the win.” And he didn't want to take the chance on another overtime against Clovis, which had little trouble scoring with a 10-yard Scott McMath power sweep on first down.
Dotson said he felt Clovis got tired at the end, but Clovis assistant Darren Kelley said that's no excuse for the outsized Wildcats.
“They've got eight guys playing both ways,” Kelley said. “If we get tired during the game, that's our fault.”
Pick-heavy first half
The most visible interception of the night may have gone to Clovis safety Denzel Pleasant, who got the Wildcats the ball back right after their first score with a pick on the Eldorado 31. Moses Bibbs scored three plays later on a 30-yard reception right up the middle.
But a pair of Josh Bryan interceptions kept the Eagles off the board in the first half. A lost fumble by quarterback Josh Potocki put Eldorado on the Clovis 15, but Bryan got the ball back on play later when Armin Day overthrew Ross Williams on a fade route.
Bryan's other interception came on a deep ball as the Eagles were trying to score in the final minute.
Eldorado also posted a first-half interception, but it was essentially a punt inside the 10 for the Wildcats.
Clovis was facing fourth and 18 at the Eldorado 33, so the Eagles actually lost 26 yards when Nick Schnedar took the interception on a jump ball play at the 7 instead of knocking the ball down.
Best offensive series
The first series of the second half. Clovis went 10 plays, all runs, in 5:20. James Howard picked up 12 yards thanks to a pancake-style block by Blake Wiley, and picked up 17 yards two plays later. Eldorado helped out matters with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and McMath scored on a 1-yard plunge.
Worst offensive series
First drive of the second quarter. A 3-yard run for Stefan Mills, a lost fumble by Potocki at Clovis' 15.
Best defensive series
Bryant's end zone interception, which squelched the Eagles' attempt to take quick advantage of the Clovis fumble.
Worst defensive series
The Eagle drive spanning the third and fourth quarters. It started from the Eldorado 18 and ended at the Clovis 14, when Maestas was stuffed for no gain on fourth and 2.
Though they didn't score, the Eagles averaged 4.3 yards on first down, twice came through on fourth down and kept the Clovis offense off the field for 9:25.