Man­zano ‘D’ dom­i­nates in vic­tory over Clo­vis

Monar­chs al­low just 56 yards in shutout


For a de­fen­sive-minded foot­ball coach, noth­ing tastes so sweet as a shutout.

Phillip Martinez’s Man­zano Monar­chs recorded five sacks, forced three turnovers and limited vis­it­ing Clo­vis to just 56 to­tal yards on Fri­day night in a dom­i­nat­ing 19-0 Dis­trict 2/5-6A vic­tory at Wil­son Sta­dium.

“They played their butts off,” Man­zano quar­ter­back Dakota Pow­ell said of the de­fense. “They played fan­tas­tic.”

It wasn’t un­til mid­way through the third quar­ter that Clo­vis (3-5, 1-1) even had a snap in­side Man­zano ter­ri­tory, and that was only be­cause the Monar­chs com­mit­ted a 15-yard, rough­ing-the-punter penalty.

The Monar­chs (3-4, 1-1), thanks to the sacks, held Clo­vis to 3 yards rush­ing for the game. In­clud­ing mi­nus-30 in the sec­ond half.

“It was awe­some to see,” said Martinez. “We’re a young de­fense, and I knew it would take a while for them to get in sync. But Man­zano has tough kids. I’m so happy for them.”

Man­zano scored a touch­down in each of the first three quar­ters.

Pow­ell threw 5 yards to Jack Blanken­ship near the end of the first quar­ter; that duo had tried to hook up for a score on the Monar­chs’ open­ing drive, but that pass was in­ter­cepted.

Fol­low­ing a Clo­vis fum­ble, Man­zano went 84 yards on 12

plays to dou­ble its lead. Xavier Ivey-Saud had a cou­ple of big runs early in the drive of 12 and 23 yards, and the Pow­ell-Blanken­ship combo got it started with a 32-yard con­nec­tion. Pow­ell, on a fourth-and-goal, capped it by go­ing over from the 1 (but just barely cross­ing the goal line) four min­utes into the sec­ond quar­ter.

Man­zano au­thored a 13-play, 80-yard drive, largely sparked by Pow­ell’s throw­ing and IveySaud’s run­ning, to open the sec­ond half. Ivey-Saud’s 2-yard TD was the end to a six-minute drive and a com­mand­ing 19-0 lead.

Mean­while, the Monar­chs swarmed Clo­vis’ of­fense, es­pe­cially QB Chance Har­ris. Four of the five Man­zano sacks oc­curred af­ter half­time, when the Monar­chs be­gan to dial up more blitzes.

“Our D-line is quick, our lineback­ers make plays, our sec­ondary makes plays,” said se­nior safety Zenzi Mor­ris. “And we all work to­gether to make the pieces fit.”

The vic­tory was much needed for Man­zano af­ter a 24-23 loss the pre­vi­ous week to La Cueva.

“That one def­i­nitely hurt,” Pow­ell said. “But we came in on Mon­day fo­cused, and we knew what we had to get done.”

Said Martinez: “It hurt a lot, but we have a rule at Man­zano: Win or lose, it’s 24 hours. Come Mon­day, it’s a new op­po­nent. Just win the week.”

Ivey-Saud, Man­zano’s se­nior tail­back who of­ten takes di­rect snaps for the Monar­chs, fin­ished with 141 yards on 30 car­ries. Man­zano ran 76 plays to Clo­vis’ 39 on Fri­day night.

The Monar­chs play San­dia next. Clo­vis will be home to El­do­rado.

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