Jesse Wolfersberger: Freedom Newspapers
Sweet to Matthews is becoming music to Clovis’ ears.
Wildcats senior quarterback Devin Sweet and junior wide receiver Rishard Matthews hooked up six times for 168 yards and three touchdowns as the Wildcats trounced Goddard 41-6 Friday night at Leon Williams Stadium.
“Throwing to Rishard makes all the difference,” Sweet said. “We still throw to our running backs and we have other receivers, but Rishard gets such good separation that you have to throw it to him.”
Sweet said the tandem’s third touchdown, a 20-yarder in the fourth quarter, should have been an incompletion or worse.
“We kinda had a little miscommunication,” Sweet said. “He was supposed to run in and out, but he just ran the fade, so I underthrew him. He just jumped up and got it. It was pretty neat to watch.”
Sweet and Matthews also scored on 12-yard and 65-yard passes in the second quarter. Sweet finished 7 for 10 for 208 yards.
“Tonight, most of that wasn’t me — it was him,” Sweet said.
“Naa, he’s just saying that,” Matthews replied. “He was throwing them in the right spots.”
Clovis assistant coach Darren Kelley said Matthews was getting a lot of attention from Goddard’s defense.
“Rishard was doing a great job of gettin’ open,” Kelley said. “They were double covering him and triple covering him and holding him and punching him, but he was able to make plays when he had to.”
Off the field, Matthews is as humble as his game is loud.
“Everybody in this locker room is a good athlete,” Matthews said. “I can’t be the only one. Devin is puttin’ the balls where they are supposed to be, and if they weren’t there, I wouldn’t be making those catches.”
After a slow start to the season, Sweet has been more effective in his last two games. He threw for 100 yards and two touchdowns on last week’s 20-14 win at Rio Rancho.
“He’s getting better each week at quarterback,” Kelley said. “He’s getting better at standing in the pocket and throwing the ball and at the same time our line is doing a better job of protecting him, and that helps.”
Sweet did damage with more than his arm. He ran for a touchdown in the first quarter and had two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown in the third.
“I just sat in the middle and they pretty much threw it to me both times,” said Sweet, who also plays free safety.
Defensively, Clovis (5-1) came into the game wanting to stop Goddard quarterback Jesus Baca. Baca ran 10 times for minus 29 yards.
“We let him sit back there and throw it a little too much,” Kelley said, “But if we were going to win we had to stop him from running.”
Baca was only 13 of 31 with one touchdown and three interceptions. However, he completed five passes for 15 yards or more, which concerned the Clovis coaching staff.
“Defensively we gave up some stupid big plays,” Kelley said. “There were some situations where they were third and ten, third and twenty, they shouldn’t be able to get first downs.”
Goddard (4-2) coach Sam Jernigan said he wanted all the blame for his team’s loss.
“I did a poor job of coaching,” Jernigan said. “I didn’t have my team ready to play and I had a poor game plan. That sums up a lot of it.”
Junior Brian Mead again eclipsed the century mark, rushing 18 times for 101 yards and catching one pass for 42 yards. Senior fullback Tanner Fickling added for 66 yards and a touchdown.
Clovis finished with 431 yards.