Nobody in the preseason could have saw this coming.
Coming off a 2-8 season, and with new head coach Tim Randall under the helm, the 2019 Clovis West football team was predicted to be in a rebuilding year by a certain newspaper.
Playoff win? It seemed like the perfect dream.
Yet all it took was a coach’s love to inspire the Golden Eagles to turn their dreams into reality.
“It’s been an up-and-down year, but the kids come to work hard at practice every day and try to get better every week,” said Randall. “I am a lucky guy, because I wake up every morning and get to be around these guys all the time. I love these kids.”
And those kids love winning. Especially under the Friday Night Lights of playoff football.
Clovis West saw their two star athletes – senior running back Brandon Wafer and junior receiver David Pierro – score two touchdowns apiece in a 34-14 blowout of Clovis North Friday.
The onset of a blowout was not apparent in the first quarter, when Clovis North scored first on a 4-yard Elijah Teats touchdown.
Yet after the Broncos took the early 7-0 lead, the Golden Eagles offense dominated for long stretches of the game.
Wafer tied the game with a 7-yard touchdown rush for Clovis West, but fumbled on the next Golden Eagle drive inside the 20-yard line.
He was later spotted on the sideline doing pushups as a form of self punishment following the fumble. Wafer said the pushups helped him move on from his mistake and push forward.
“I just had to let the fumble go, move on and keep doing my thing to help out my team,” said Wafer.
He would do just that, scoring a second touchdown in the fourth quarter.
What did Wafer do to celebrate? He flexed his muscles, fresh off a pushup workout.
Clovis West flexed their muscles on defense all night, as well. Following Clovis North’s opening touchdown, the Broncos struggled to move down the field and turned the ball over on downs numerous times.
Clovis North struggled mightily with pass protection, as quarterback Trenton Luera took a number of sacks and threw an interception under pressure to Clovis West’s David Pierro.
Pierro not only made a big play on defense, but he made two remarkable plays on offense.
In the third quarter, Pierro took off on a 74-yard touchdown catch-and-run that extended Clovis West’s lead to 21-7.
Following Wafer’s second touchdown, Pierro was found wide open in the endzone by quarterback Brad Senneway for a 34-yard touchdown. That would be the final Clovis West touchdown, as the Golden Eagles would complete the rout with a final score of 34-14.
Clovis West entered the playoffs as a No.11 seed with only three wins, but the camaraderie and work ethic on the team had Coach Randall convinced they could pull off the playoff upset.
“In spite of everything that’s happened this year, wins or losses, this team never has a bad attitude and their attendance has been perfect at practice all season,” said Randall. ““This team is all in.”
Clovis West (4-7) are set to be all in for the quarterfinal round next week when they travel to Liberty High (7-3) in Bakersfield. The two have faced off earlier this season on September 6th, with Liberty winning that game 17-7.