They didn’t account for any of Clovis’ 430 yards, and they didn’t force any of Carlsbad’s three turnovers.
But Clovis football wouldn’t be the same without Antwan Payton and Dominique Small, who did manager duties for Clovis’ 52-7 win, and for every other Wildcat game this season.
Payton, a senior, is responsible for keeping game balls ready. He makes sure two balls are always in rotation for the officials. His worst nights are “when it’s a wet field,” because he’s got to keep a towel and a chalk-like substance called Dryball on hand.
Small, who rotates between tee handling and end zone filming, graduated last year, but “all my brothers on the team kept me on.”
The two can’t be missed on the field — partially for their joking nature, and partially for their large stature.
“We’re a frat — fat and fatter,” Small said with a laugh, as each identified the other as the larger. The two don’t know who’s larger but estimate they’re 710 pounds combined.
Both said they and the rest of the Wildcats miss J.J. Roberts, the longtime manager who left to spend more time with family.
Stat of the night: Two Wildcats outscored Carlsbad by themselves.
Senior WR Moses Bibbs scored 12 points on the strength of two touchdowns. The first came off a 53-yard pass straight up the middle from Josh Potocki, and the second required some work. After he took a short sideline route from Kyler Brewer, Bibbs shook off a tackle from junior Austin Miller and went untouched up the middle of the field.
Meanwhile, junior K Andrew North got 10 points. He went 7-for-7 on extra point attempts, and booted his first career field goal from 31 yards out.
Best drive: It’s tough to pick from eight scoring drives, especially wnen the field goal came on a 16-play drive. That said, Clovis’ second drive of the second quarter is a narrow winner. After starting at the 41 off of senior CB Josh Bryan’s seventh interception of the season, Bibbs drew a pass interference in the end zone. The Wildcats still needed a big third-down play, and got it when Brewer found Blake Wiley for an 11-yard gain. Stefan Mills finished the drive off with a 10-yard run.
Worst drive: Even Clovis’ worst early drive wasn’t a total failure. Mills and James Howard combined for 23 yards rushing on five carries, and the Wildcats picked up a pair of first downs before Bibbs came up just short of a first down on an 8-yard screen.
Best defensive series: Carlsbad’s last drive of the third quarter. With the Wildcats needing one more score to reach a 35-point margin and a running clock, Carlsbad was helpless to answer on offense. Junior QB Jacob Galindo was sacked twice for a loss of 5 yards, and the Carlsbad punt only went 5 yards after senior DE Morris Sharp’s block.
Worst defensive series: Easy call, since Carlsbad only scored once. The Cavemen never had a third down, got a late hit penalty on Clovis and scored in just six plays on Robbie Arrington’s 20-yard reception.
The Cavemen only entered Clovis territory three times the rest of the night, and only once inside the red zone — on a long pass completion to the Clovis 10 that Arrington fumbled away.