After 24 minutes filled with missed opportunities, Clovis West High’s football team dialed in during the second half.
And because of it, the Golden Eagles are headed to the Central Section Division I semifinals for the first time in George Petrissans’ three seasons as coach.
Riding three second-half touchdowns from star junior Adrian Martinez, fourth-seeded Clovis West pulled away from No. 5 Clovis for a 42-28 victory Friday at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
“We were moving the ball really well in the first half,” Petrissans said. “The problem was when we got in the red zone, we blew it a few times. But we pulled it together in the second half and stayed together.
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“We’re excited. We hadn’t moved on to this point since I’ve been here. This is big for us to be able to move forward.”
The Golden Eagles (8-3) get a rematch Nov. 25 at Tri-River Athletic Conference rival and top-seeded Central, which edged No. 8 Edison 24-19. The Grizzlies beat Clovis West 49-28 on Oct. 28.
“One game down, we got two to go,” said Martinez, who passed for 274 yards and rushed for 221 more. “We have to beat Central. It’s going to be a big one. I’m not gonna lie, my mind is already there focused on it.”
We have to beat Central. It’s going to be a big one. I’m not gonna lie, my mind is already there focused on it.
Clovis West quarterback Adrian Martinez
After the third of Samir Allen’s four touchdowns put Clovis up 21-13 early in the third quarter, Clovis West responded as Martinez threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Nick Coleman to pull within a point.
Martinez broke free for a 45-yard score on the Golden Eagles’ next possession, and his 3-yard touchdown with 9:51 remaining in the game put his team ahead for good at 34-28.
Clovis West would essentially seal the outcome when Coleman took a backward pass from Martinez and fired a 20-yard touchdown to Donovan Gonzales. Rodney Wright’s 2-point conversion run gave the Golden Eagles a 14-point cushion with 6:46 left.
“My middle finger got in the way, so it looked like a duck,” Coleman said of his pass. “But it doesn’t have to be pretty to get points. We’re going on to the next round.”
Clovis took a 14-13 lead into halftime behind a pair of Allen touchdown runs, a 3-yarder in the first quarter and a 9-yarder in the second.
Clovis West opened the scoring, going 80 yards in seven plays on its first possession, capped by a 21-yard touchdown pass from Martinez to Hayden Leach.
The Golden Eagles marched into Clovis territory four more times in the first half but came away with only six points on field goals of 36 and 33 yards by Eli Riofrio.
Riofrio also had a 27-yard attempt blocked and a 34-yarder that was off the mark.
Clovis West thwarted a Clovis scoring opportunity on its first possession of the game when Dakota Helms intercepted Trey Lake in the end zone.
Allen finished with 307 yards rushing for Clovis.