Though there might have been some temptation to let down with a big matchup less than a week away, neither Central High or Clovis West overlooked their Week 9 opponents Friday.
Instead, Central quickly disposed of Clovis North 53-7 and Clovis West trounced Clovis East 35-6 in Tri-River Athletic Conference action to set up arguably the biggest game of the Central Section regular season.
Central (7-1, 3-0), ranked No. 1 in The Bee coaches’ Top 10 poll, will take on No. 2 Clovis West (7-1, 3-0) at 7 p.m. Thursday at Veterans Memorial Stadium in a matchup that likely will decide the TRAC title and quite possibly the No. 1 seed for the Division I playoffs.
The Grizzlies have lost only to out-of-section De La Salle-Concord this season.
The Golden Eagles have won seven straight since dropping their season opener to Liberty by a point.
Both showcased their abilities Friday.
Central led 20-0 going into halftime, highlighted by an 88-yard touchdown pass by Trent Tompkins for the game’s first score.
Tompkins, who has received an offer from Nevada, ran for one touchdown and threw for three.
Check out the zip, timing and accuracy on this throw as Tompkins completes a quick-out to receiver Avery Boyd.
Clovis West, meanwhile, raced to a 28-0 lead thanks partly to two touchdowns from senior do-it-all threat Rodney Wright.
The son of former Fresno State star receiver Rodney Wright ran untouched for one touchdown. The other came on on a pass reception.
This decade, the Eagles and Grizzlies have split the series 4-4.
The Grizzlies, however, won both of last year’s games, including a 34-28 overtime victory in the playoffs.
Each team will have one game remaining in the regular season after next week.
Clovis West will visit Clovis while Central will host Clovis East, both on Nov. 3, before playoff seeding is decided at the CIF Central Section office in Porterville the next day.
Tri-River Athletic Conference championship
NO. 1 CENTRAL AT NO. 2 CLOVIS WEST
- Thursday: 7 p.m. at Lamonica Stadium
- Records: Central (7-1, 3-0 Tri-River Athletic Conference), Clovis West (7-1, 3-0)
- On the line: Winner secures at least a share of the TRAC title and possibly the top seed in the Central Section Division I playoffs
- Players to watch: Central – QB Trent Tompkins, RB Trevon Bigelow, LB Tre Walker. Clovis West – QB Dante Chachere, RB Rodney Wright, LB Dusty Schramm