In a game with no shortage of spectacular plays, Central High football coach Casey Quinn had no problem pinpointing the biggest of them all.
It came with 8:20 remaining with his Grizzlies, ranked sixth in the Central Section by The Bee, clinging to a 27-21 lead that would have disappeared had it not been for highly recruited defensive back L.J. Moore.
The 6-foot, 150-pound junior, who already is drawing interest from Pac-12 schools, made a jarring hit on Josh Lovingood before he could pull in a potential touchdown to provide the springboard toward Central's 34-24 Tri-River Athletic Conference win over No. 8 Clovis North on Friday at Koligian Stadium.
"That was huge. That dude [Lovingood] was wide open," Quinn said. "L.J. came off his man and made the play of the game. That young man has a knack to get to the football and make plays."
The win allowed Central (6-2, 2-1) to remain within striking distance of TRAC-leading Clovis (8-0, 3-0) should it slip up in its next two games, which are against Clovis North (5-2, 2-1) next week and rival Clovis West to close the regular season. The Grizzlies have Clovis West and Clovis East the next two weeks.
"It's all about keep on going and win out – and see what we can do in the playoffs," said Moore, whose interception with 15 seconds left helped Central rebound from last week's 21-7 loss to top-ranked Clovis.
Michiah Quick turned in another of the Grizzlies' big plays, taking a short flat pass to the left, reversing his field all the way back to the right, getting around the end and taking Michael Baker's toss 65 yards for the touchdown that put Central ahead for good at 27-21 with 2:54 left in the third quarter.
Baker, the Grizzlies' highly touted third-year quarterback, threw a pancake block down the sideline to spring Quick on a third-and-5 play that would have been well short if Clovis North had stopped Quick from getting round the right end.
"I just [saw] open field on the back side," Quick said. "If I could get around the right end, I was gone. And my boy Baker threw me an impact block."
After Clovis North got a 25-yard Thomas Hernandez field goal that sliced its deficit to 27-24 with 8:20 left, Nick Wilson carried Central the rest of the way.
Wilson ran 12 times on a 15-play, 72-yard drive and capped it with his fourth touchdown of the night, a 5-yarder, with 1:32 remaining for the final margin.
"It was the fourth quarter, we had to get time management down, go down and score," said Wilson, who also scored on a 23-yard reception and runs of 4 and 49 yards, part of a 26-carry, 185-yard rushing performance.