Clovis High struggled to put up points consistently during the regular season.
But the Cougars certainly woke up in time for the postseason.
Payton Mayer threw for seven touchdowns, five in the first half, as seventh-seeded Clovis defeated No. 10 Ridgeview 49-39 in the first round of the Central Section Division I playoffs Thursday night at Lamonica Stadium.
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Clovis set a season high in scoring, with the Cougars averaging just 22 points during the regular year, including a mere 14 per game in three Tri-River Athletic Conference losses.
And if Clovis wants to make a deep playoff run, the Cougars will have to generate points against those same TRAC teams.
That starts with No. 2 Clovis West (8-2), which will host Clovis (7-4) in a quarterfinal and rematch of the regular-season finale that the Golden Eagles won 45-21.
Likely awaiting in the later rounds are No. 1 Central and No. 3 Buchanan, which combined to beat the Cougars 88-21.
Against Ridgeview, Clovis needed a quarter to find its groove. The Cougars scored four touchdowns in the second quarter, then held off the Wolf Pack in the second half.
Mayer spread his scoring strikes among five players. Among those was a trick-play TD to offensive lineman Cole Acevedo, who lined up as an eligible receiver.
Ridgeview (6-5) had a chance to pull into a tie late in the third quarter.
But the Wolf Pack’s 2-point conversion failed, keeping Clovis ahead 35-33.
The Cougars scored two more touchdowns to keep the Wolf Pack at a distance.
Central Section D-I playoffs
First round Nov. 9
No. 6 Edison 20, No. 11 Clovis North 13
No. 7 Clovis 49, No. 10 Ridgeview 39
No. 8 Bullard 21, No. 9 Sanger 14
Quarterfinals Nov. 17
No. 8 Bullard at No. 1 Central
No. 4 Bakersfield at No. 4 Liberty
No. 6 Edison at No. 3 Buchanan
No. 7 Clovis at No. 2 Clovis West