The Clovis West football team got its first win of the season at the expense of Clovis East. Thanks in large part to a monster performance from junior Brandon Wafer, the Golden Eagles broke a seven-game losing streak and downed the Timberwolves 20-14 on Friday, Oct. 12 at Lamonica Stadium.
It was an emotional victory for the Golden Eagles as they overcame a series of injuries to finally get in the win column.
“I’m extremely proud of them,” Clovis West head coach George Petrissans said. “It’s a hard thing when you work from January, get up at 6:30 in the morning, four days a week and lift and go through the hot summer and come out 0-7. We played a really tough schedule. I’m super excited about how they responded to adversity tonight.”
The Golden Eagles lost starting quarterback Dante Chachere to a wrist injury in the first quarter, then lost their backup quarterback to injury as well in the second quarter.
“We were literally adjusting on the fly,” Petrissans said.
With the injuries adding up, running back Brandon Wafer had to take command of the quarterback position. The junior had never taken any reps in practice, but he made the adjustment look easy.
“[Coach Petrissans] put me in a situation I’ve never been in,” Wafer said. “Last time I played quarterback was freshman year. I just had to go in there and step up and be a leader for my team. My line was blocking terrific.”
Wafer ended the night with three touchdowns, including a 77-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
“I just found a hole and I put on the jets and I ran as fast as I could,” Wafer said. “I’m so happy right now. I’m lost for words. I’m so happy to be here with my team and we got a win.”
“[Wafer] has been a playmaker for us all year long,” Petrissans added.
Wafer gave the Golden Eagles a 6-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Timberwolves responded with a huge kick return and a touchdown drive capped by senior Ryan Hunt. After the Golden Eagles took a 20-7 lead into halftime, Hunt scored his second touchdown in the fourth quarter to make it 20-14.
Clovis West made one last defensive stance late in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
“The situation those kids were in tonight was so difficult,” Petrissans said. “Yet, they just kept fighting. That was the best thing about the kids tonight.”
Clovis West (1-7, 1-2) will play at Central on Friday, Oct. 19.
“We have to come back to practice and watch film on Central, do everything we could do to get a win,” Wafer said.
Clovis East (4-4, 1-2) will play at Buchanan on Friday, Oct. 19.
“Their kids played really hard and really aggressive. They stuffed us,” Clovis East head coach Ryan Reynolds said. “On film, I kept telling our guys, [Chachere] is really good, but [Wafer] is quick. We knew about him. We just got our butts kicked.”