Handley’s six scores paces Eagles

By Jesse Wolfersberger: Freedom Newspapers

A little home cooking can go a long way.

Senior Dustin Handley scored six touchdowns as Clovis Christian mercy-ruled Pine Hill 52-0 in its first home game of the season.

After losing two straight, Clovis Christian coach Greg Darden said Friday’s win was right on time.

“We needed that,” Darden said. “We had some heartbreaks the last two games, so we needed that type of game tonight.”

Darden said playing at home was a major advantage for the Eagles.

“Just the idea of playing in front of your home crowd helps us a lot,” Darden said. “Playing at home is just like having 10 points handed to you free. It means so much, it’s like having another player on the field.”

Home field advantage is something Pine Hill will know nothing about — they play all their games on the road this season.

Pine Hill coach Tony Archer said the season is wearing on him.

“I’m tired of traveling,” Archer said. “I’m tired of my kids getting hurt. I’m tired of my kids not showing up ready to play. We played a lousy game.”

In the past three seasons the Warriors have won only one game. Archer said the love of the game is the only thing that keeps Pine Hill coming back for more.

“They like to play the game,” Archer said about his team. “They like to learn, they like to get on the road. They do it because they enjoy it. It’s as simple as that — they enjoy it.”

Handley had his hand in all but one score for Clovis Christian, rushing for four touchdowns, the longest a 58-yard scramble, and throwing for two, both to junior Ryan Schapp.

Darden said Handley is as dangerous with his brain as he is with his legs.

“Really, he’s another coach on the field,” Darden said. “For example, that last play that he ran in, he saw what was going on with their defense. We called a play, but he looked over at the coaching staff and said he saw something different. We told him to go ahead.”

The result of that play was a 21-yard touchdown run by Handley to end the half.

The senior refused to take any personal credit for his six touchdown performance.

“Oh it wasn’t my effort, I just had really good blocking,” Handley said. “We just played well. We came out with intensity, and got the job done.”

Keeson Bell was the only other Eagle to reach the endzone with his 8-yard run in the second quarter.