Daniel Leon | Editor
After opening the season with a loss to defending Central Section DI champion Liberty-Bakersfield, the Clovis West Golden Eagles have since bounced back, winning two straight with their most recent “W” coming in a 26-20, hard-fought victory over Edison Friday night at Sunnyside Stadium.
The Eagles held a 26-14 lead early in the fourth quarter before a 72-yard Jimmy Gray touchdown pass to Teyjohn Harrington instilled life in the Tigers and cut the lead to five.
In a defensive battle in the fourth, the Edison defense came through when needed as it held the Eagles scoreless in the period and even held their ground on a 4th-and-1 on their own 34-yard line to give the ball back to their offense.
The Tiger offense, however, couldn’t take advantage of any of their opportunities down the stretch as they were continually stuffed and pressured by the Eagle defense, making it difficult to move the ball.
“The Clovis West-Edison games are historically very tough and tonight was no different,” said Clovis West head coach George Petrissans. “Those guys [Edison] played really hard, they’ve got some great athletes out there and their coaches do a great job with them. We’re excited about the win.”
Gray got things rolling for Edison early with a 49-yard touchdown run to put the Tigers up 7-0 right off the bat. But moments later Clovis West quarterback Adrian Martinez answered right back with a 52-yard touchdown run of his own on a quarterback draw up the middle. Martinez’s touchdown run ignited 23 straight points for the Eagles, who led 23-14 at the half.
“It was a hard-fought game, a very long game,” said Martinez, who had two rushing touchdowns. “We were just trying to stay in it. We were shooting ourselves in the foot, there were a lot of penalties, but we just had to keep pushing through and we found a way to win.”
Martinez and the Eagles improve to 2-1 while the Tigers drop to 0-3 on the year.
“I’m proud of my guys, I’m proud of our guys,” Petrissans said. “You always learn from your wins and you have to learn from your losses as well but these are the type of moments we want to be in. We’re a very young team and it [the win] says a lot about their character.”