Adrian Martinez spun a pressure-packed stage into a simple game of catch Friday night at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The Clovis West High junior quarterback – never better in a two-year career that has Fresno State, Miami, Washington State, Oregon State, Cal and Utah abuzz, among others – passed for 327 yards, rushed for 88 and accounted for four touchdowns as the Central Section’s fifth-ranked Golden Eagles defeated No. 7 Clovis 41-27.
Martinez, in a splendid small-ball game plan blueprinted by coach George Petrissans’ staff, completed 36 of 48 attempts – with 20 completions going for 9 yards or fewer – and eight receivers weren’t dropping them, either, as Clovis West completed the regular season 7-3 overall and 4-1 in the Tri-River Athletic Conference.
Rodney Wright, displaying a combination of vision, speed and toughness, carried 12 times for 103 yards, including a 38-yard TD, and caught seven passes for 83 yards, including an all-on-his-own 39-yard score as the Eagles marched toward a probable No. 4 seed in the Division I playoffs.
TRAC champion Central is a lock for the D-I top seed, Southwest Yosemite League king Bakersfield is likely No. 2 and SWYL runner-up Liberty-Bakersfield – which defeated Clovis West 28-24 in a season-opener Aug. 26 – is headed for the No. 3.
Clovis (7-3, 2-3), which received 151 yards rushing on 25 carries from Samir Allen, is hoping for a No. 6 seed.
Section commissioner Jim Crichlowsays his five-man committee will announce the seedings about 2 p.m. Saturday. Playoffs in six divisions will begin next week.
Martinez, a 6-foot-2, 195-pounder with arm strength and accuracy in addition to being fleet afoot, gave Clovis West a 34-20 lead with a 3-yard run late in the third and a 41-27 advantage on an 8-yard run with 5:03 remaining in the game.
On his final score, he rolled left, surveyed the field, angled to his right and upfield, spinning and then leaping into the end zone.
His receivers, in addition to Wright, were quite cooperative with good hands and holding onto the ball when hit hard on third-down plays. The Eagles also featured Nick Coleman (seven receptions, 70 yards), Chad Day (6-64), Hayden Leach (7-43), Donovan Gonzales (5-35) and Dakota Helms (13-yard TD).