By Kevin Wilson
FLOYD — After a slow start on defense, the Floyd Broncos recovered to do their part for a matchup of two undefeated squads.
Behind a steady offense and an opportunistic defense late, the host Broncos clipped the visiting Clovis Christian Eagles 70-14 Saturday afternoon. The game was called at halftime due to the state’s 45-point mercy rule.
The win sets a matchup of undefeated teams when the Broncos (7-0) host Melrose (8-0) Saturday.
“The matchup’s set — 8-0 versus 7-0. We’ll see what happens next week,” Floyd coach Jeff Gillespie said. “We’ll have to play perfectly to win that one.”
Floyd didn’t play perfectly on this day, but did more than enough to hold off Clovis Christian. The Broncos failed to stop the Eagles (2-5) on two of their first three drives (eight plays for 91 yards), but allowed no first downs and a total of minus-12 yards from that point on.
“We actually started tackling and actually started hitting somebody,” Gillespie said.
Floyd never trailed, as Jerrod Long returned the opening kickoff 79 yards for a score. Clovis Christian got on the board twice with touchdown receptions from junior Christopher Mitchell (six catches for 108 yards), but three scoring tosses from Bryan Johnson and another from Long put the Broncos up 36-14 after one.
The Eagles opened the second quarter with a turnover on downs and two lost fumbles, and Floyd took advantage each time. Three plays after the Eagles turned the ball over on downs, Johnson found Jonathan Mitchell on a six-yard scoring pass.
Mitchell recovered an Eagle fumble on the ensuing drive, setting up a three-yard scoring run for Long.
“We played pretty good,” said Mitchell, who had a pair of touchdown receptions. “We didn’t really play good defense in the first quarter, but we picked it up.”
Jason Martinez finished off the scoring with 24 seconds left on a nine-yard reverse. Martinez finished with 89 total yards of offense (17 yards rushing, 72 yards receiving), three touchdowns and five two-point conversion kicks.
Eagles coach Carlos Velasquez couldn’t explain how the offense stopped producing as the game went on. Having played both teams, Velasquez anticipates a worthwhile matchup on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a good game,” Velasquez said. “If (Melrose) can contain Long, then they’ll have a chance to beat them.”
Six-man District 3
Saturday at Floyd
Floyd 70, Clovis Christian 14
Clovis Christian 14 0 — 14
Floyd 36 34 — 70
F — Jerrod Long 79-yard kickoff return (Jason Martinez kick), 9:46
C — Sean Sena 47-yard pass to Christopher Mitchell (Sena kick), 9:02
F — Bryan Johnson 18-yard pass to Manny Carrillo (Martinez kick), 8:25
F — Long 1 run (kick failed), 5:19
C — Ryan Boatman 35-yard pass to Mitchell (run failed), 5:09
F — Johnson 40-yard pass to Martinez (Martinez kick), 4:18
F — Long 20-yard pass to Jonathan Mitchell (kick failed), :10
F — Johnson 6-yard pass to Mitchell (kick failed), 7:54
F — Long 3-yard run (Martinez kick), 7:08
F — Johnson 8-yard pass to Martinez (kick failed), 6:34
F — Long 40-yard run (Martinez kick), 3:23
F — Martinez 9-yard run (kick failed), :24
First downs 2 14
Rushes-yards 11-(-8) 17-206
Passing yards 87 116
Total yards 79 322
Comp-att-int 11-17-0 6-9-0
Punting 2-34.0 0-0
Fumbles-lost 2-2 0-0
Penalties-yards 1-5 3-30
RUSHING — Clovis Christian, Sena 5-11, Michael King 2-4, Corey Hastings 1-minus 1, Robert Montanez 1-minus 5, Ryan Schaap 1-minus 7, Boatman 1-minus 10. Floyd, Long 13-180, Martinez 3-17, Carrillo 1-9.
PASSING — Clovis Christian, Sena 6-8-0-26, Boatman 5-9-0-61. Floyd, Johnson 5-6-0-96, Long 1-3-0-20.
RECEIVING — Clovis Christian, Mitchell 6-108, Boatman 3-minus 9, Schaap 1-minus 5, Hastings 1-minus 7. Floyd, Martinez 3-72, Mitchell 2-26, Carrillo 1-18.
Conquerors get first win — At Amarillo, senior quarterback Luis McCain ran for two touchdowns, returned an interception for another and threw six scoring passes — five to junior Caleb Richards — as Faith Triumphant routed Amarillo Holy Cross 68-18 on Saturday for its first win of the season.
McCain’s TD runs covered 32 and 15 yards and his interception return went for 54. Meantime, the scoring passes covered 38, 44, 20, 25 and 39 yards to Richards and 10 yards to his younger brother, junior Geraldo McGain.
Freshman Albert Jimenez got t he other touchdown, recovering a teammate’s fumble in the end zone.
Leading by just 11 points at halftime, the Conquerors (1-4) outscored Holy Cross 39-0 in the second half, helped by recovering three onside kicks.
Faith Triumphant coach Shawn Kelly also singled out Jake Jones on defense for recovering two fumbles and adding an interception.