Clovis News: Sports

Eagles hit back hard

The defending Central Section Division I football champions simply couldn't handle the thought of dropping to 1-4, with a demanding Tri-River Athletic Conference schedule left to play.

So Clovis West High didn't let it happen.

The fifth-ranked Golden Eagles rallied from a two-touchdown, first-half deficit with 28 unanswered points to upend No. 4 Edison 28-14 on Friday night at Chukchansi Park.

"I think one of the things that got us going is we said, 'Heck no, we're not going 1-4,' and 'Heck no, we're not losing to Edison,' " Clovis West running back/nose guard Brady Seibert said. "We just wanted it."

The Eagles' defense lit the spark for the comeback. Clovis West's John Winston intercepted a Max Schuh pass and returned it 16 yards for a touchdown to slice Edison's lead to 14-7 with 6:52 remaining in the third quarter.

"John Winston is probably our best defensive player," Seibert said. "It was going to take something like that. That was the turning point."

It was all Clovis West (2-3) from there.

A defense that had allowed Schuh to pass for 148 yards in the first half tightened up in the second.

After forcing Edison (3-2) to punt on its next possession, the Eagles offense finally found its stride, with a pair of 11-yard Kendall Brock runs setting up Connor Buss' 29-yard touchdown pass to Randon Garcia that tied the score.

With Donovan Lewis contributing a sack, Clovis West forced a three-and-out that led to an eight-play, 51-yard scoring drive, with Seibert scoring on a 6-yard run to give the Eagles the lead with 7:44 left in the third quarter.

"We didn't change anything," Seibert said. "We just got faster on the ball. We wore them out."

Clovis West safety James Bitter made sure Edison didn't mount a comeback with interceptions on the Tigers' next three drives, the first of which led to Buss' 19-yard scoring run with 6:47 to go.

"I just read the quarterback well," said Bitter, who finished with four interceptions. "It was just big for our team. We haven't had too many wins this year, so I was just helping the team."