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.