Clovis West uses second half surge to advance to quarterfinals
Clovis West scores 34 straight points to beat rival Clovis North, advancing to face No. 3 Liberty in the D-I playoff quarterfinals.
It was a TRAC rematch in the first round of the Division I playoffs which saw No. 11 Clovis West surge in the second half to defeat No. 6 Clovis North 34-14.
Though the score showed a commanding Clovis West win, it wasn’t one-sided from the start.
After Clovis West received the opening kickoff and punted, Clovis North strung together a 15-play opening drive that was capped by an Elijah Teats touchdown run. 14 rushing plays to just one pass on the drive.
Then, slowly, the Golden Eagle’s offense began to find their stride.
Senior quarterback Bradley Senneway led his first, of many, touchdown drives which ended with a Brandon Wafer seven yard touchdown run. Wafer would rack up 11 carries for 95 yards and two touchdowns.
After a handful of defensive stops by both teams, Clovis West was on the march again just before halftime. This time it was Senneway who tossed his first touchdown of the night to Dewayne Benjamin to put the Eagles up 14-7 heading into halftime. Senneway finished 11-14, 288 yards, and 2 TDs.
“Our receivers are helping me out a lot right now and our offensive line is protecting great,” Senneway said after the game. “I don’t think I was hit one time tonight.”
Coming out of halftime, Clovis North received the kickoff in what felt like a must-score drive. After some success running behind Roman Rodriguez, the drive eventually stalled and the Broncos turned it over on downs.
Clovis West has a knack for explosive plays and on the ensuing drive, we saw one. Senneway would hit David Pierro on a quick slant that the wide receiver would take for a 75-yard catch and score. In fact, the Clovis West offense totaled eight plays that would go for 20 yards on the night.
Senneway would find Pierro one more time early in the fourth quarter on a corner route for a 34-yard TD. Pierro ended with 7 catches for 196 yards and 2 TDs.
With the big offensive numbers Clovis West put up, it was easy for the defense to get overshadowed. After Clovis North’s first possession, the Eagle’s defense surrendered zero points. Clovis North’s last TD came on a fumble recovery return late in the 4th quarter.
“We made a little bit of adjustments,” senior linebacker Mateo Morales talked about. “We knew what they were going to run after that first drive and (limiting) first downs were big.”
No. 11 Clovis West will now travel to No. 3 Liberty of Bakersfield next Friday for a quarterfinals meeting which will be another rematch from the regular season that the Patriots won 17-7.