Photo by Nick Baker- Clovis West quarterback Adrian Martinez sprints down the sidelines on his 57-yard touchdown run in the second quarter on the way to a 24-12 victory over Clovis North.
By Paul Meadors | Sports Editor
Adrian Martinez and his Clovis West Crew made sure the number wasn’t getting to six.
Six, as in the number of times Clovis North was attempting to beat the Golden Eagles in a row.
The Broncos have had the Golden Eagles number since 2011, the last win a 35-27 victory in 2010 when Kendall Brock rushed for 117 yards and four touchdowns.
But not this year as Martinez proved his mettle once again as the junior quarterback with four Pac-12 offers rushed for a 57-yard touchdown and passed for two more as Clovis West (4-2, 1-0) finally shook off the Bronco curse in a well-managed and balanced 24-12 win to open league play at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The Golden Eagles – their two losses by a combined five points – played perhaps their most complete game of the season; converting on third down often, staying within their defensive assignments and playing physical football.
“I’m must happy for these guys, they were hard and they deserve it,” said Clovis West head coach George Petrissans. “They keep plugging away and kept saying we’re all in.”
After the Broncos (3-3, 0-1) got on the board with a 62-yard touchdown pass from Brent Bailey to Chad Fugman with 6:01 left in the first (the extra point was missed) it was basically all Eagles the rest of the way.
Clovis West kicker Eli Riofrio booted a 37-yard field goal in the first quarter to cut the lead to 6-3, then Martinez showed off his impressive running ability by rolling out right, spying an open field and hitting the turbo button down the sideline, leaving behind a wake of Bronco defenders for a 10-6 lead.
Martinez, the 6-foot-3 190 pounder, had one thought running through his mind after surveying his options – run, run, run.
“I went to escape, and the side I decided to escape to the receiver was open but I decided to pump fake and take off,” Martinez said.
Martinez threw his first touchdown of the game – an 8-yard touchdown pass to Chad Day in the second quarter as Clovis West took a 17-6 lead into halftime.
The Golden Eagles defense also came to play – they were plugging running lanes and hustling on the outside holding three Broncos running backs (Jordan Ayerza, David Akande, Noah Haupt) to 35 yards on 20 total carries.
Bailey, who Petrissans calls “a heck of a football player” led the team with 84 yards on 14 carries including a 2-yard touchdown drive to open up the second half, trimming Clovis West’s lead to 17-12 with 7:20 left in the third quarter.
A 12-yard touchdown pass from Martinez to Jayden Helms increased the lead to 24-12 but the Broncos wouldn’t fold, driving to first and goal late in the fourth quarter. That’s when Clovis West’s defense, looking as strong as it has all year, tightened up, stopping the Broncos on four straight run plays.
“That’s what our defense thrives on; we like those types of situations,” said senior safety Diego Cruz. “I thought the defense was huge tonight – we call ourselves the Landsharks because we like to swarm.”
Martinez completed 26 of 35 passes for 148 yards and rushed for 153 yards, which included ripping off a 47-yard run in the third quarter.
Petrissans continues to be impressed with his signal-caller’s ability, especially the 57-yard touchdown run.
“Adrian is such an athlete and when he makes a play like that it makes you realize how good of an athlete he really is,” Petrissans said.
“Our whole motto since Rocklin (27-28 loss) has been ‘finish’ and that’s what we did – our team just stuck together,” Martinez said. “We needed this, 1-0 is what we wanted and beating Clovis North was one of our goals.”