The young Clovis West Golden Eagles and their talented senior quarterback certainly grew up in the second game of the season, but it wasn’t enough to topple crosstown rival Edison.
Clovis West, behind the excellent play of quarterback Dante Chachere, rallied from down two touchdowns in the third quarter to tie the score at 35 early in the fourth before fading late, eventually losing 41-35 to Edison on a Thursday game at Sunnyside.
“I’m super proud of our guys – they fought,” Clovis West head coach George Petrissans said. “When we were down 15 in the third quarter they just kept battling.”
After falling behind 35-20 with 6:07 left in the third quarter after an Edison 56-yard touchdown pass from Jameson Silva, one of his three scores in the game, junior Brandon Wafer caught a 35-yard screen pass from Chachere for a touchdown to get within eight with 4:34 showing on the clock.
Then, just 32 seconds into the fourth quarter, Chachere found Cameron Hicks in the middle of the field. Hicks caught the pass, and sprinted past the defense for a 64-yard touchdown.
A 2-point conversion pass to David Pierro from Chachere knotted the game at 35.
However, Edison (1-1) would march down the field and score on a 5-yard touchdown run by McKinley Lee with 8:54 left in the game, and Clovis West’s (0-2) final drive was stopped on a 4th-and-4 pass that sailed over the head of Dewayne Benjamin, who caught the Golden Eagles initial touchdown pass in the first quarter, with 4:07 remaining.
After finding windows of opportunity tough to come by in a season-opening 21-0 loss to Central Catholic that saw Chachere throw for only 104 yards, the tall, lanky senior completed 27-38 passes for 324 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions.
He also added 104 yards on the ground on 12 carries including a 50-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter.
Clovis West (0-2) got a scare when Chachere, younger brother of Clovis West grad Andre Chachere who is currently in the Houston Texas camp as a defensive back, briefly left the game after being tackled after a short run.
“I’m proud of how his stepped up and made some big time throws,” Petrissans said.
A total of nine different receivers caught passes for Clovis West, led by Chris Coleman’s 10 receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown.
“They [receivers] got the jitters out after the first game, and they settled in nice in this game,” said Chachere, who holds a scholarship from Nevada. “It gave me confidence to throw the ball.”
After graduating 18 starters from a 9-3 team team that reached the semifinals of the Division I playoffs last year, new faces abound for Clovis West and coach Petrissans’ staff.
Despite some mistakes, the fifth-year head coach is optimistic.
“We’re young but I see growth and I see a lot of potential,” Petrissans said. “There are a lot of positives for us.”
Clovis West next travels to Liberty-Bakersfield for a Aug. 31 matchup.