Clovis West wanted to play with purpose, precision and passion – and when those three facets are executed, the Golden Eagles are tough to beat.
That formula was on display at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Friday, Sept. 15, which ultimately spelled doom for visiting Rocklin as the Golden Eagles played smash-mouth and ferocious football in rolling the Thunder 42-12.
Clovis West (2-1) scored six touchdowns on the ground by four different players and junior quarterback Dante Chachere was almost perfect throwing the ball in going 26-31 for 289 yards and one touchdown, also adding a 1-yard touchdown on the ground.
Chachere, the junior gunslinger hasn’t been rattled all season, showcasing incredible poise replacing the injured Tennessee verbal commit Adrian Martinez. The only blemish this game was an interception in the end zone. He completed passes to eight different receivers.
“Dante is just going to get better and he’s so smart,” said head coach George Petrissans. “Adrian Martinez is lock and step with him and is really helping him. With him and Taylor [quarterback coach Genuser], I have two great quarterback coaches.”
As for that mighty defense? They held a previously undefeated Rocklin to two field goals and allowed a meaningless touchdown as the final clock expired.
“Our guys were upset since Game 1 with how we played against Liberty,” said Petrissans about the disappointing 31-30 loss in Bakersfield. “I think they have a chip on their shoulder right now and they want to get better and improve. That’s what happened tonight.”
Senior running back/slot receiver Rodney Wright scored his first three touchdowns of the year, his first on a 1-yard run with 7:56 left in the second quarter to push the score to 14-0. Jaylen Felton scored the game’s first touchdown on a 1-yard plunge with 26 seconds left in the first quarter.
Rocklin would kick two field goals under the two minute mark in the second quarter to cut the lead to 14-6 heading into halftime.
After halftime, a fired up Clovis West team came out full steam ahead, the defense was flying around the ball, led by linebackers D.J. and Dusty Schramm and Thomas Curran.
Corner Tykee Woods had an interception and a fumble recovery as did Santana Rios. Mason Campbell registered a sack.
“Our goal was to come out and attack, we knew they were going to try and run the ball,” said D.J. Schramm, a Boise State verbal commit. “We had a great gameplan and we felt really confident that we were going to stop whatever they threw at us.”
Wright would score his other two touchdowns in the third quarter, a 3-yard run and a 14-yard pass from Chachere with 48 seconds left to increase the lead to 35-6. Jeremiah Ellison scored from 4 yards out with 7:03 left in the fourth quarter.
The victory meant more than simply a win in the column for Clovis West. In last season’s heartbreaking 28-27 loss up in Rocklin, Gabe Solorio suffered a severe leg injury which required surgery that very evening. Solorio is back healthy this season and contributing as a wide receiver.
“This is a great win for us, this was a big week for us,” said Wright. “Last year we went there and it was a tough loss for us after leading 17-0. We lost Gabe to a severe injury to his leg so this win was for him.”