Clovis senior Manuel Robles breaks into the secondary en route to a 53-yard, third-quarter touchdown run that helped seal the Wildcats' seventh straight win over Hobbs.
HOBBS — No need for last-minute heroics this week.
Taking advantage of a pair of early turnovers, Clovis jumped out to big early lead en route to a 28-7 win over Hobbs in District 4-5A game Friday at Watson Memorial Stadium.
Manuel Robles rushed for 121 yards and scored two touchdowns and Clovis (6-3, 1-0 district) forced four turnovers while taking command of the 4-5A race.
A win at home next week over Carlsbad (3-6) will give the Wildcats their fourth straight district title.
“We came out and played hard,” Clovis defensive coordinator Darren Kelley said. “Maybe we learned something the last two games.”
Clovis rallied to win its previous two games by scoring a touchdown in the final minute.
Hobbs (7-3, 1-1) moved the ball effectively at times but managed to score only once in five trips inside the Clovis 25-yard line.
“We did a great job in the red zone and on our man defense,” Kelley said.
Using a combination of nickel and dime coverages, Clovis held Hobbs’ record-breaking senior quarterback Alberto Caballero to more than 100 yards under his passing average.
The senior came into the game with more than 2,200 yards passing and 26 touchdowns, both single-season school records. He finished 13-of-25 for 142 yards.
The Wildcats also held the Eagles’ big-play receivers Shon Mitchell and Reese Franklin to two catches for 39 yards.
“Our defensive line did a great job of getting pressure on Caballero,” said Clovis senior cornerback Jaden Isler, who covered Reese most the game and also delivered a pair of crushing hits.
Clovis took a 7-0 lead two minutes into the game on a 4-yard pass from Jordan Mendoza to Bryce Hill. The third-down score was set up when junior linebacker Parker Wood scooped up a Hobbs fumble on the first play from scrimmage and rumbled 31 yards to the Eagles’ 4.
Junior safety Josh Bryan made it 14-0 a little more than five minutes later when he stepped in front of a Caballero pass and returned it 85 yards for a score.
“I saw a guy come out and run a bow route,” Bryan said. “I just jumped on it and hoped (Caballero) was going to throw it.”
Robles made it 21-0 when he took a Mendoza throw in the flat, ran over a Hobbs defender at the 15, and slipped inside the right pylon just before the end of the first quarter.
Hobbs answered with its only score, a 7-yard pass from Caballero to DeQuawn Robinson, midway through the second quarter to make it 21-7.
Robles sealed the Wildcats’ third straight win when he raced 53 yards for a score midway way through the third quarter.
Clovis 28, Hobbs 7
Clovis 21 0 7 0 — 28
Hobbs 0 7 0 0 — 7
C — Bryce Hill 4-yard pass from Jordan Mendoza (Robert North kick), 10:11
C — Josh Bryan 85-yard interception return (North kick), 4:21
C — Manuel Robles 23-yard pass from Mendoza (North kick), :52
H — DeQuawn Robinson 7-yard pass from Alberto Caballero (Josue Salas kick), 3:48
C — Robles 53-yard run (North kick), 6:25
First downs 9 14
Rushes-yards 37-171 32-141
Passing yards 72 142
Total yards 243 283
Comp-att-int 4-8-0 13-25-1
Punting 3-30.7 4-34.8
Fumbles-lost 1-1 5-4
Penalties-yards 7-60 9-95
Rushing — Clovis, Robles 21-121, Derrick Phillips 8-42, Scott McMath 4-15, Hill 1-6, Denzel Pleasant 1-0, James Howard 1-minus 5, Chase Willis 1-minus 8. Hobbs, Robinson 15-81, Caballero 15-61, Reese Franklin 2-minus 1.
Passing — Clovis, Mendoza 4-8-0-72. Hobbs, Caballero 13-25-1-142.
Receiving — Clovis, Hill 2-32, Robles 1-23, Isaac Edwards 1-17. Hobbs, Daniel Mendoza 8-77, Robinson 3-25, Shon Mitchell 1-25, Franklin 1-15.
Records — Clovis 6-3 (1-0), Hobbs 7-3 (1-1).