Clovis senior Phillip Williams rushed for 205 yards and two touchdowns in the Wildcats 15-7 win over Mayfield Saturday at Leon Williams Stadium. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth)
By Rick White: CNJ managing editor
Slowly but surely, Clovis squeezed the life out of Mayfield’s offense like a boa constrictor on steroids.
The more the Trojans squirmed, the tighter the Wildcats’ grip got. Mayfield’s final drive was an effort in futility as the Trojans faced a fourth-and-43 after taking over at the Clovis 30 on a turnover.
The stellar defensive effort combined with another 200-yard rushing game by senior running back Phillip Williams was more than enough to lift Clovis to a 15-7 win in a Class 5A state quarterfinal game Saturday at cold and fog-bound Leon Williams Stadium.
Clovis (8-3) hosts Highland (9-2) at 2 p.m. Saturday in the state semifinals. Highland beat Rio Rancho 20-14 Friday.
Clovis defensive coordinator Darren Kelley said the memory of a 35-0 loss to Mayfield in the team’s season opener in August served as motivation on Saturday.
“It wasn’t about revenge, it was about redemption,” Kelley said. “We wanted to get back our respect.
“We told them all week that the team that was the most physical would win it.”
And that was Clovis.
Stunting and shooting gaps on nearly every play, the Wildcats limited Mayfield (9-2) to six yards and one first down in the second half, including minus 15 yards rushing.
“We wanted to go after them and attack them,” Kelley said. “We didn’t want to sit back.”
Clovis took the lead for good when Williams raced 61 yards for his second touchdown on the second play from scrimmage of the second half. Diminutive senior wide receiver Nick Welsh delivered the final block that sprung the speedy Williams down the right sideline.
Williams, whose 38-yard scamper down the left sideline in the first quarter gave Clovis an early lead, was a workhorse for the Wildcats, finishing with 205 yards on 30 carries.
“Everybody around the state has been saying ‘he’s quick’ but today I showed them I have some power too,” said Williams, who is now at 1,717 yards on the season. “I was just trying to be patient and take what my offensive line gave me.”
Mayfield coach Jim Bradley said obviously Clovis is much improved since the first time the teams met, but it was Williams who made the difference.
“He’s as good as there is in the state,” said Bradley, who took his team to the state championship game the last three seasons only to finish runnerup. “You know if he touches the ball enough he’s going to break one.”
Clovis dominated the first half but trailed 7-6 when Mayfield drove 75 yards in the final 2:43 to score a touchdown with just two seconds before halftime.
Ryan Hooker lobbed a 7-yard pass to Chris Hernandez. The drive was aided by a 15-yard personal foul penalty that came at the end of Seth McKinney’s 6-yard run.
McKinney finished the half with 61 yards, mostly on sweeps. He was held to zero yards on four carries in the second half.
Kelley said the Wildcats weren’t discouraged by the late score.
“We made a few adjustments and talked about coming out and continuing to play physical,” he said.
Travis Reid provided the Wildcats a little breathing room with a 31-yard field goal with 9 1/2 minutes left in the game. His fourth field goal capped off a 12-play, 45-yard drive in which Williams carried the ball 11 times.
The Clovis defense took over from there, forcing Mayfield to punt twice before taking the field one last time after a bad snap set Mayfield up at the Clovis 30 with 2:57 left in the game.
On first down, backup quarterback David Bustillos was smothered for a 5-yard loss when he couldn’t find a receiver after taking a lateral from Hooker. A late hit penalty pushed the Trojans another 15 yards back.
On second down Bustillos again was thrown for a 5-yard loss, this time on a reserve.
On third down, Hooker was sacked by Jacob Teofilio and Jason Burns before Hooker threw incomplete on fourth-and-33.
Clovis 15, Mayfield 7
Mayfield 0 7 0 0 — 7
Clovis 6 0 6 3 — 15
Clo — Phillip Williams 38-yard run (kick failed), 3:36. Drive: 86 yards in 11 plays. Key plays: Williams 23-yard pass to Clovis 38 on 3rd-and-9. Williams 11-yard run to Mayfield 37. Clovis 6, Mayfield 0.
May —Chris Hernandez 7-yard pass from Ryan Hooker (Jason Wuerz), :02. Drive: 75 yards in 8 plays. Key plays: Donnie Apodaca 12-yard pass from Ryan Hooker to Clovis 42 on 3rd-and-10. Seth McKinney 6-yard and 15-yard personal foul to Clovis 19. Mayfield 7, Clovis 6.
Clo — Williams 69-yard run (run failed), 11:03. Drive: 65 yards in 2 plays. Clovis 12, Mayfield 7
Clo — Travis Reid 31-yard FG, 9:30. Drive: 45 yards in 12 plays. Key plays: Williams 4-yard to Mayfield 47 on 3rd-and-2. Williams 10-yard run to Mayfield 30 on 3rd-and-2. Williams 6-yard run to Mayfield 16 on 3rd-and-2. Clovis 15, Mayfield 7.
First downs 9 14
Rushes-yards 30-55 41-233
Passing yards 63 29
Total yards 118 262
Com-att-int 8-15-1 2-6-0
Punts-avg 5-33.2 3-37
Fumbles-lost 3-1 1-0
Penalties-yards 7-55 8-65
RUSHING — Mayfield, David Bustillos 5-(-10), Oran Gonzales 1-12, Ryan Hooker 8-(-21), Seth McKinney 14-65, Xavier Jaquez 2-13. Clovis, Phillip Williams 30-205, Tanner Fickling 6-21, Brian Mead 1-2, John Props 4-5.
PASSING — Mayfield, Hooker 8-14-63-1, McKinney 0-1-0-0. Clovis, Props 2-6-29-0.
RECEIVING — Mayfield, Donnie Apodaca 1-12, Chris Hernandez 3-29, James Stout 1-5, McKinney 1-7, Bustillos 1-5, Paul Ellis 1-5. Clovis, Williams 2-29.