Scott McMath injected speed into a plodding offense and Jaden Isler led a ball-hawking defense as Clovis beat Eldorado 24-7 Friday at Leon Williams Stadium.
Isler picked off three passes and recovered a fumble as Clovis (1-1) forced six Eldorado turnovers.
McMath, a 5-foot-8, 160-pound junior, rushed 96 yards, including a 37-yard scamper down the right sideline midway through the fourth quarter to seal the win. Senior Manuel Robles added 129 yards and a touchdown for the Wildcats.
But a Wildcats defense that allowed more than 430 yards in a season-opening loss at Mayfield was the real story Friday.
Except for one hiccup in the first quarter — Logan Lippert’s 65-yard scoring run off tackle — the Wildcats controlled the line of scrimmage, forcing the run-oriented Eagles to put the ball in the air 24 times.
“We played a lot more aggressive and ran to the ball,” Clovis defensive coordinator Darren Kelley said. “Other than that one play, they played well.”
The Wildcats converted three of the turnovers into 21 points. Two of the other turnovers were interceptions to end each half.
“We played a lot more as a team,” said junior free safety Stefan Mills, who recovered a fumble and delivered a teeth-rattling block on a punt return late in the first half. “Everybody executed their assignments and we got a couple breaks.”
Eldorado was playing its first game after a first-week bye.
“We got tired and that’s on me,” first-year Eldorado coach Charlie Dotson said. “We got tired on defense and we got sloppy.”
Mills’ fumble recovery and short return to the Eldorado 24 set up the Wildcats’ second TD, a 10-yard Robles run that gave Clovis a 17-7 lead with 1:19 to go in the third quarter.
After Isler’s second interception gave Clovis possession at its 34, McMath put the game out of reach.
After Clovis moved to the Eldorado 37, McMath took a handoff, veered to the outside, picked up a final block from wide receiver Bryce Hill, and outraced the Eagles to the end zone.
“Scotty’s not going to be able to run anybody over, so we tried to take advantage of his speed and his ability to make people miss,” Kelley said.
Derrick Phillips gave Clovis a 7-0 lead by scoring from a yard out three minutes into the game. Isler’s fumble recovery and short return to the Eldorado 31 set up the score.
Senior Robert North’s 27-yard field goal with a little less than four minutes left in the first half gave Clovis a 10-7 lead.
The 13-play drive came after Clovis stopped Eldorado on fourth-and-inches at the Wildcat 26.
Clovis held a 317-257 edge in yards.
Lippert finished with 102 yards an 13 carries while Michael Cantwell completed 12 of 24 passes for 101 yards.
Clovis 24, Eldorado 7
Eldorado 7 0 0 0 — 7
Clovis 7 3 7 7 — 24
Clo — Derrick Phillips 1-yard run (Robert North kick), 9:07. Drive: 31 yards in 6 plays. Key plays: Jaden Isler fumble recovery and return to Eldorado 31. Phillips 3-yard run to Eldorado 19 on 3rd-and-1. Manuel Robles 14-yard run to Eldorado 5. Clovis 7, Eldorado 0.
Eld — Logan Lippert 65-yard run (Lucas Hones kick), 2:31. Drive: 76 yards in 5 plays. Key plays: Ross Williams 11-yard pass from Michael Cantwell 11-yard to Clovis 35 on 3rd-and-9. Clovis 7, Eldorado 7.
Clo — North 27-yard FG, 3:35. Drive: 67 in 13 plays. Key plays: Robles 23-yard run to Eldorado 49. Layne Strebeck 15-yard pass from Jordan Mendoza to Eldorado 40 on 3rd-and-6. Scott McMath 11-yard run to Eldorado 19. Clovis 10, Eldorado 7.
Clo — Robles 10-yard run (North kick), 1:19. Drive: 24 yards in 2 plays. Key plays: Stefan Mills fumble recovery and return to Eldorado 24. Bryce Hill 14-yard run to Eldorado 10. Clovis 17, Eldorado 7.
Clo — McMath 37-yard run (North kick), 8:37. Drive: 66 yards 5 plays. Key plays: Isler interception. McMath 4-yard run and 5-yard facemask penalty. Clovis 24, Eldorado 7.
First downs 10 14
Rushes-yards 26-156 46-264
Passing yards 101 53
Total yards 257 313
Com-att-int. 12-24-4 5-10-2
Punts-avg. 2-41 4-39
Penalties-yards 5-25 6-29
Fumbles-lost 2-2 0-0
Rushing — Eldorado, Logan Lippert 13-102, Brandon Ghiassi 9-23, William Elliott 2-8, Michael Cantwell 1-0, Gary Maestas 1-16. Clovis, Manuel Robles 26-129, Derrick Phillips 5-16, Scott McMath 11-96, Bryce Hill 2-17, Jordan Mendoza 1-0, Stefan Mills 1-6.
Passing — Eldorado, Cantwell 12-24-101-4. Clovis, Mendoza, 5-10-53-2.
Receiving — Eldorado, Ross Williams 4-40, Lippert 2-23, Dylan White 1-5, Henry Gwinn 3-26, Maestas 2-9. Clovis, Robles 3-38, Layne Strebeck 1-15, Hill 1-0.
Records — Eldorado 0-1, Clovis 1-1.