Assignment upgrade for Clovis: After staging defensive clinics on how to stuff wing-T offenses for three consecutive weeks -- and against ranked opposition, no less -- No. 8 Clovis will have something else to think about tonight against No. 4 Central at Koligian Stadium.
Try Michael Baker and B.J. Kelley for starters.
This is not to suggest the Grizzlies won't lead with the run as they generally do in the Tri-River Athletic Conference game. They surely will, especially considering they'll welcome the return of standout senior running back Robert Johnson, who's missed three games with a concussion. Yet Central averaged 46.3 points while winning those games.
A year after balancing a 562-yard offense in a 49-14 throttling of the Cougars, the Grizzlies return with multiple firepower once again -- Baker has completed 68% of his passes for 1,276 yards and Kelley has averaged 24.8 yards on 28 receptions -- 10 for touchdowns.
It will be interesting to see what Clovis asks of safety Donnell Vercher -- concentrate on the pass? Or the run? He's had some combination of fumble recoveries, forced fumbles and interceptions for five consecutive games, and has combined with middle linebacker Nate Palomino to help set the tempo for a Cougars defense that has given up only one touchdown in three games while holding Clovis East, Sanger and Stockdale to an average of 136 yards.
The sixth annual state bowl games -- In Open, D-I, D-II, D-III and D-IV divisions -- will be played Dec. 17-18 at Carson's Home Depot Center. The Central Section has never been represented. Participants are determined by a vote of the state's 10 commissioners. They will meet Dec. 12.