The Rockets on Friday only had to visit a Clovis team ornery from last week’s loss to Rio Rancho, and do so on homecoming night at Clovis High’s Leon Williams Stadium, with a sophomore quarterback — Robert Aragon — making his first varsity start for a nicked-up Goddard team forced to play other sophomores at key positions.
Nope, no pressure. Yeah, right.
Goddard felt the pressure from the outset, getting off to a difficult start defensively by allowing the Wildcats to move 77 yards for a touchdown in just two plays on the game’s opening possession, then a bad start offensively, too, fumbling on their first two offensive series.
It put the Rockets into an early hole and they went on to lose 41-0, the program’s worst loss to Clovis in 35 years, which dropped them to 1-3.
“They’re a good team,” Goddard head coach Chris White said of Clovis. “All the credit to them. Well-coached team, good-looking football team. We didn’t play real well. We came in a little bit beat up and dinged up. And this is a tough game to have to play your sophomores, but that’s kind of where we’re at right now.”
Clovis’ opening possession went as follows: An offsides call against Goddard, a 24-yard screen pass from Brandt Davis to Seth Lopez, and a 48-yard touchdown run from Demerious Milton.
The Rockets’ offense at first looked solid on their initial possession, driving from their 20 to their 49, thanks in large part to Tyler Hoover’s 25 yards rushing on four carries. The series ended, though, when a bad exchange resulted in the ball coming loose, recovered by Clovis’ Rheal Kuchta at Goddard’s 38.
Clovis’ first-year head coach Cal Fullerton alternated Davis with senior quarterback Darian Goins throughout the game, and Goins engineered a five-play 62-yard touchdown drive on Clovis’ second offensive series, contributing himself with a four-yard run to start the drive and a 13-yard pass to Montez Wright, who also had a 19-yard run to the 1. Seth Lopez took it in from there, and Kabel Brooks’ second PAT made it a 14-0 game with 6:08 still to go in the first.
Goddard’s next possession was one-and-done when on first down from the Rockets’ 20, a Hoover fumble was recovered by Clovis’ Johnathon Avila at the 27.
Davis made Clovis three-for-three in scoring touchdowns on possessions with a keeper from about the one-inch line. With Brook’s point-after it was 21-0; 3:29 still remained in the quarter.
With 4:37 to go in the second, Milton scored from about half a yard out. Clovis added a 22-yard Davis touchdown pass to Efren Boceanegra III (including about 10 yards after the catch) in the third quarter, and Andrew Jaramillo rushed in from six yards out in the fourth, with another Brooks PAT completing the scoring.
“They took advantage of us every way that a team could,” White said. “They’re a good, well-rounded football team. … I think, if not the top team in 6A, I’ll bet there aren’t two others that are better.”