Jordan Mendoza attempts a fourth-quarter pass against the Goddard Rockets Friday night at Leon Williams Stadium. Mendoza finished 9-of-25 for 113 yards in Clovis' 14-9 loss to the Rockets.
The Clovis Wildcats threw the ball more than two dozen times trying to play catch-up.
The Wildcats never did catch up.
Roswell Goddard scored a pair of second-quarter touchdowns off turnovers and held on to beat Clovis 14-9 Friday at Leon Williams Stadium.
Clovis defensive coordinator Darren Kelley said the Wildcats can’t keep making mistakes and expect to win.
“We’re playing teams that are good enough to make you pay for your mistakes,” Kelley said.
Ruben Coronado rushed for 103 yards and sophomore quarterback David Vega kept the chains moving in the second half with his arm and legs as the Class 4A Rockets (5-1) ended a six-game losing streak against Clovis.
Vega completed 8-of-11 passes for 77 yards and a touchdown and ran for another. He completed all four of his passes in the second half, including three for first downs that enabled Goddard to chew up valuable time.
Kelley said the Wildcats hoped to wear out the Rockets, who normally play six or seven players both ways.
“They played hard and didn’t quit,” Kelley said. “We allowed them to get their motors running, and that gave them some confidence.”
The Wildcats (3-3) drove into Goddard territory twice in the final eight minutes of the game behind the passing of senior Jordan Mendoza, but were unable to come up with the big play to complete the comeback from a 14-3 halftime deficit.
Mendoza completed 8-of-17 passes for 85 yards in the second half.
Clovis struggled to run the ball against Goddard’s eight-man front, especially in the first half, when the Wildcats managed just 39 yards on the ground. The Wildcats finished with 129 rushing yards.
Goddard coach Sam Jernigan said it was obvious the Wildcats missed their leading rusher, senior Manuel Robles, who sat out the game with a shoulder injury.
“They just looked a little bit out of sync,” Jernigan said.
Clovis took a 3-0 first-quarter lead on Robert North’s 31-yard field goal.
But back-to-back turnovers killed any momentum Clovis had.
Middle linebacker Desmond Anaya picked off a Mendoza pass and returned to 38 yards to the Clovis 5. Vega scored two plays later to put Goddard up 7-3.
On the Wildcats’ next play, wide receiver Bryce Hill was stripped of the ball after a short gain on an end-around and Anaya was there to pounce on the ball.
Clovis almost escaped further damage, but Coronado turned a swing pass into a 12-yard touchdown on fourth-and-four.
The Wildcats put together a 63-yard, eight-play drive midway through the second half.
After Mendoza’s 17-yard pass to Chase Willis jump-started the drive, Scott McMath took over. McMath carried the ball five of the next six plays, and went in standing up from seven yards out.
Goddard 14, Clovis 9
Goddard 0 14 0 0 — 14
Clovis 3 0 6 0 — 9
Clo — Robert North 31-yard field goal, 6:45. Drive: 10 yards in five plays. Key plays: Layne Strebeck fumble recovery. Pass interference penalty moves the ball to the Goddard 12. Clovis 3, Goddard 0.
Godd — David Vega 2-yard run (Jarred Martin kick), 11:55. Drive: 5 yards in 2 plays. Key plays: Desmond Anaya interception and 38-yard return to the Clovis 5. Goddard 7, Clovis 3.
Godd — Ruben Coronado 12-yard pass from Vega (Martin kick), 8:16. Drive: 28 yards in seven plays. Key plays: Anaya recovers Clovis fumble. Vega 9-yard run to Clovis 18 on third-and-9. Goddard 14, Clovis 3.
Clo — Scott McMath 7-yard run (pass failed), 3:40. Drive 63 yards in 8 plays: Key plays: Chase Willis 17-yard pass from Jordan Mendoza to Clovis 48. Bryce Hill 16-yard pass from Mendoza to the Goddard 33. McMath 12-yard run to Goddard 7. Goddard 14, Clovis 9.
First downs 12 13
Rushes-yards 36-154 27-129
Passing 77 113
Total yards 231 242
Com-att-int 8-11-0 9-25-2
Punts-avg 2-26.5 2-19.5
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties-yards 7-48 2-10
Rushing — Goddard, Ruben Coronado 22-103, David Vega 11-40, Bryce Taylor 2-6, Chase Kyser 1-5. Clovis, Stefan Mills 8-43, Derrick Phillips 6-40, Scott McMath 5-46, Jaden Isler 3-(-6), Jordan Mendoza 3-(-5), Bryce Hill 2-11.
Passing — Goddard, Vega 8-11-77-0. Clovis, Mendoza 9-25-113-2.
Receiving — Goddard, Hobie McClain 2-19, Coronado 3-27, Idriese Lytle-Harris 2-23, Gregory Ramirez 1-14. Clovis, Hill 5-73, Chase Willis 1-14, Isaac Edwards 1-17.
Records — Goddard 5-1, Clovis 3-3.