The Clovis West High School football team put up a valiant defensive effort in the season opener, but it wasn’t nearly enough to stop Central Catholic from running away with the win.
Central Catholic, hailing from Modesto, scored the game’s first points late in the first half then tacked on two more touchdowns in the second half to win it 21-0 at Lamonica Stadium on Friday, Aug. 17.
“Our defense played a great game tonight,” Clovis West head coach George Petrissans said. “I was super proud of their effort and how hard they played, the way they executed against Central Catholic.”
Last season, the Central Catholic Raiders were one game away from advancing to the championship game of the Division II Sac-Joaquin Section.
“That’s a really tough team that we just played that runs the ball really well,” Petrissans said.
The run game was especially crucial in the fourth quarter when the Raiders used up a large chunk of the clock and wore down the Golden Eagles’ defense to put the game away for good.
“We were struggling all night. Our offense couldn’t sustain drives and we were putting our defense in bad situations,” Petrissans said. “That was the biggest problem. Our kids started to wear down, not to any fault of themselves, but together as a team we couldn’t sustain drive as an offense.”
Clovis West senior quarterback Dante Chachere finished the game with 104 passing yards and an interception.
Chachere said the team is determined to start the week with strong practices and focus on the details that went wrong in the loss.
“We have a lot of young guys and it was their first varsity game,” Chachere said. “They didn’t know how the feeling was yet. I think we’re good now.”
The Raiders only passed for 72 yards, but totaled 272 rushing yards. Senior Dawaiian McNeely carried the load for the Raiders, finishing with 22 carries for 145 yards. The Raiders’ two rushing touchdowns came from senior Kyle Jacklich. Junior Dalton Durossette recorded the game’s only passing touchdown when he connected with junior Sithri Price.
The Golden Eagles next game is against Edison High School on Thursday, Aug. 23. Petrissans is looking toward his leaders to help the team bounce back.
“I’m expecting my leaders to step up and continue to be the people that they are, which are competitive people,” Petrissans said. “I expect them to push the other guys.”