Cougars rout Arroyo Grande in playoff opener

Cougars defense lines up against Arroyo Grande. Clovis High would defeat Arroyo Grande 56-7, will move on to the quarter finals to face the Bullard Knights. (Ryan Kish/Clovis Roundup)

The Clovis High Cougars scored eight touchdowns on their first eight drives and had seven different players involved in scoring plays throughout the evening as they cruised to a 56-7 victory over Arroyo Grande Friday night.

With the win, the Cougars advance to play Bullard High School in the quarter-finals of the CIF Central Section playoffs.

Cougars’ starting quarterback Isaiah Robles completed 10 passes on 14 attempts for 153 yards and two touchdowns. He was replaced in the third quarter after he had guided his team to a more-than-comfortable 49-7 lead.

Clovis got running back Tristan Risley, involved in the action both on the ground and through the air.

Risley ended the night with two rushing touchdowns — one from 1-yard out and another a 53-yard dash. Robles then found Risley open for a 20-yard TD reception on the Cougars’ third drive of the game.

As the offense dominated on its side of the ball, the Clovis High defense was also a formidable force. In the first half, Arroyo Grande quarterback Ethan Royal was held to just two completions on eight attempts.

The Arroyo Grande offense as a whole produced just 49 total yards of offense in the first half — 44 of which came on the ground.

The Cougars also held Arroyo Grande to just two first downs in the first half.

Of the five drives that Arroyo Grande completed in the first half, four ended in punts and another ended with a turnover on downs.

It was not just the offense and defense where Clovis High had the advantage, they had control of special teams as well.

Arroyo Grande’s first true scoring opportunity came on a 31-yard field goal attempt early in the third quarter.

That field goal attempt, however, went awry after the kick was blocked at the line and picked up by the Cougars, who ran it back across midfield.

That special teams play set up a drive that eventually saw running back Jordy Hilford score a 15-yard touchdown, which made the game 49-0.

Clovis High’s Nathan Johnson had two touchdowns on the night, one on each end of a throw.

The Sophomore wide receiver caught a 5-yard pass from Robles and then went on to replace Robles and throw a 53-yard touchdown to Chris Rylant — it was Johnson’s only completion of the night and his final of two attempts.

Jonathon Johnson and Daniel Chavira each added rushing touchdowns for the Cougars.

Hilford and J. Johnson saw most of the rushing snaps in place of Risley, who joined his starting quarterback on the sidelines for much of the second half.

Arroyo Grande’s lone score came by virtue of a 15-yard touchdown pass by Royal to tight end Mason Garcia, who made an acrobatic catch on the edge of the end zone.

Clovis High will now travel and play the No. 4-seeded Bullard next weekend.

A win in that game for the Cougars would likely mean a meeting with top-seeded Central in the semi-finals. Central is set to play Ridgeview High School after earning a first-round bye.

Ryan Kish
Ryan graduated from Buchanan High School in 2018 and is currently a student at Clovis Community College and plans to transfer to a four-year school to complete a degree in journalism or political science. Ryan was born in Pennsylvania, has lived in four states, and thinks the Yankees need to be more creative with the design of their batting practice hats.