On paper, it was supposed to be a blowout. Clovis was expected to rout Hobbs in the Eagles football opener, but that is why the game is played and results are not decided based on paper. After four quarters of play, the Eagles did come out on the losing end, but the game was much closer than expected as Hobbs fell 14-10.
“It was a heck of a game,” Hobbs coach Ken Stevens said. “Our whole team played with great effort.”
As time ticked off the clock, the Eagles were in position to go for the win. With 18 seconds left, the Eagles had a second and nine at Clovis’ 17-yard line. The Eagles tried a pass play, but it fell incomplete. On the final play of the game, Hobbs quarterback Colton Graham scrambled for six yards, but with no time outs left when he was tackled, time expired, giving the Eagles their seventh straight loss to the Wildcats.
“We had a chance to win at the end,” Stevens said, “but we couldn’t finish.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Clovis scored first, finding the end zone on a 15-yard pass to Robert Nora with 10:13 left in the second. The Wildcats attempted, and converted, the two-point play to take an 8-0 led over Hobbs.
But the Eagles didn’t play like a team expected to lose and Hobbs got into the end zone on a 36-yard touchdown run from quarterback Colton Graham with 6:49 left in the second quarter. Graham then kicked the PAT to cut the Eagles’ deficit to 8-7.
The score remained 8-7 in favor of Clovis throughout the third quarter. Hobbs took the lead with 7:47 to play when Graham kicked a 20-yard field for the Eagles that was set up when Hunter Wright intercepted a Clovis pass and returned the ball all the way to the six before begin tackled.
“The defense got an interception and set us up,” Stevens said. “We had it inside the 10 and got a holding penalty that pushed us back out of the red zone. We couldn’t capitalize on that with a touchdown and had to settle for the field goal.”
The Eagles lost the lead with 4:07 to play though when Clovis scored on an eight-yard touchdown pass to Jeston Webskowski. The Wildcats went for the two-point pass, but the Eagles’ Brayden Strickland picked it off in the end zone.
The Eagles defense was extremely tough and carried the team, limiting the Wildcats to just 101 total yards, 52 rushing yards on 30 carries and 49 through the air on eight receptions and four first downs.
Strickland had five tackles for the Eagles while Trae Jett had four tackles and a sack.
“Obviously the defense did a great job to keep the Webskowski guy in check,” Stevens said. “The defense line, Gavin Brumley, Trae Jett, Juan Gonzalez, and a bunch of those guys upfront, they did a great job.”
The Eagles didn’t put up huge offensive numbers, but they did manage more than Clovis, racking up 201 total yards.
Graham, who scored every point the Eagles had, finished the game with 24 carries for 40 yards while completing 13 passes for 110 yards.
“Colton is a heck of an athlete,” Stevens said. “He did a lot of good things for us at quarterback tonight. He is going to continue to get better for us. He led the team in rushing and made some good decisions out there tonight. We are excited we have him for two more years.”
Demitrius Frausto had five carries for 18 yards while Corbin Thomas had eight carries for 11 yards. Overall, the Eagles carried the ball 31 times for 91 yards.
Caleb Kedrick led the receivers, catching four passes for 31 yards while Frausto was a close second with four catches for 30 yards.
Hobbs will now prepare to host Lovington in its home opener on Friday night at Watson Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.