Bullard has a weapon on offense by the name of Marcus Fulcher, a running back that’s fast, tough and elusive.
However, Clovis West has some weapons too – or three or four or five – and the Golden Eagles used them all to overwhelm the Knights 37-13 in a game played at Ratcliffe Stadium to move to 3-1 on the season and sending the Knights to 1-4 just before league.
Golden Eagles’ junior quarterback Dante Chachere continued his strong start to the season filling in for injured star Adrian Martinez by passing for 248 yards and two touchdowns, both to Ricardo Arias, and Rodney Wright busted out for a 75-yard touchdown run for the game’s first touchdown with 28 seconds to go in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, Fulcher carried the ball 31 times for 137 yards but nary a touchdown on the ground.
“The defense played great again,” said Clovis West coach George Petrissans. “The running back scared us, he’s a tremendous football player, but our defense did play well tonight.”
Namely, linebackers D.J. and Dusty Schramm and Thomas Curran, as the three were able to contain Fulcher for the most part, bottling up the junior speedy back and not allowing him break loose for long gains he’s known for.
But, Bullard (1-4) was able to hang tough at 7-7 until Jeremiah Ellison’s 3-yard touchdown run with 4:18 left in the second quarter made the score 14-7 Clovis West.
Then, the first of Arias’ two touchdown catches came with 1:36 left in the half, a 41-yard pass from Chachere in stride down the right sideline, a play that Arias said: “It just happened, the corner bit down and it was a touchdown.”
Arias’ second score was a 32-yard strike with 3:22 remaining in the third quarter on an inside post where he eluded two Bullard defenders the last five yards, extending the Golden Eagles’ lead to 27-7.
After an Eli Riofrio 37-yard field goal for Clovis West, Bullard would score on a 6-yard reception by Fulcher with 6:10 left in the game.
But, Clovis West’s Nick Keenan would pick off a pass and race 60 yards untouched down the sidelines with 2:21 left in the game to seal the deal 37-13.
After the game a smiling Chachere, despite throwing two interceptions (now three on the season), says he feels at ease running the spread offense that can be complicated at times.
“I feel comfortable, the coaches and players all believe in me,” said Chachere, whose older brother, Andre, is a senior starting defensive back at San Jose State. “It’s a good feeling.”
In addition to Keenan’s interception, Clovis West received one each from Jayden Helms and Cameron Hicks.
Wright would finish with 164 yards on the ground on 19 carries.
It was the fourth loss for Bullard in their non-league schedule to schools in the Tri-River Athletic Conference: Central 44-0, Buchanan 55-17 and Clovis 17-13. Their lone win was against Centennial of Bakersfield 34-25.
Clovis West plays a makeup game at Centennial on Thursday, September 28, a game originally to be played on Sept. 1 but postponed due to extreme weather conditions.
League play for Clovis West starts Oct. 6 at Veterans Memorial Stadium against Clovis North.