Clovis High came out swinging and never looked back, scoring a touchdown on each of its five first-half drives to coast to a 41-14 win over Clovis East at Lamonica Stadium on Friday, Oct. 22.
Clovis and Clovis East play in an annual rivalry for the Boot trophy, and for the 12th straight season, the Boot went to Clovis High.
Senior running back Tristan Risley helped the Cougars to a fast start with three rushing touchdowns from 20, seven, and two yards out in the first half. In the process, he etched his name into the Clovis High School record books once again, a month after setting the school’s all-time career rushing yards record.
Risley’s three scores were more than enough to surpass Roy Esquivel’s career rushing touchdown record of 41 from 1992-93. Risley entered the game with 41 exactly. He finished with 13 carries for 50 yards.
Clovis quarterback Nate Johnson also scored three total touchdowns — two passing and one rushing. He connected with Tyler Boragno on a play-action fake for a two-yard touchdown pass. Then, right before halftime, the Utah commit quarterback aired out a 30-yard scoring pass to Jaden Carrillo which extended Clovis’ lead to 34-0.
Carrillo also caught an interception while playing cornerback, one of multiple big plays made by the Clovis defense, which has been nicknamed by defensive coordinator Justin Nast as the “Blue Flu.”
The Cougars allowed only 41 yards of total offense to Clovis East.
“I was proud of the complementary football we played,” said Clovis head coach Rich Hammond. “All of the turnovers and fourth down stops gave us short fields and momentum that our offense was able to capitalize on with early scores. We couldn’t have asked for a better first half in terms of execution.”
Johnson opened the second half with a 23-yard touchdown run, which ended up being his final play of the game. Johnson exited the third quarter after completing 12-of-16 passes for 117 yards and picking up 95 yards rushing.
Clovis East scored two touchdowns late in the game — an interception returned for a touchdown by Clovis East senior Mariano Williams, and a 29-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Ty Miller to senior Maddox Merlo.
Next for both teams are regular season finales on Friday, Oct. 29. Clovis (6-3, 2-2 TRAC) will try to retain the Range Rider trophy against Clovis West, and Clovis East (4-3, 0-2 TRAC) will play at Buchanan.