Friday, October 18, 2013

Central prospects step up in emotional win

Photo courtesy of Central Valley Football
On a night where Central-Fresno got victory No. 5 in 2013, the Grizzlies perhaps won their most emotional game of the year on Oct. 17.

The Grizzlies entered Lamonica Stadium at Clovis High with a four-game losing streak against the Cougars. The same Cougars team that won the outright Tri-River Athletic Conference title last year.

Thanks to a dramatic goal line stand in the first quarter, an interception from a future Arizona Wildcat in the end zone during the third, a highlight reel punt return by the Grizzlies' most sought-after prospect and finally, the shifty and power running of their lead running back, Central prevailed in the emotional 13-9 win.

Here's some key moments from the Grizzlies' top prospects:

Nick Wilson: The Arizona commit showed elusiveness on one run by juking and even spinning out of an arm tackle. Then showed a stiff arm and breakaway speed on another. He gained 101 yards through three quarters against a Clovis team that's had one of the best defenses in the Central Section the last two seasons.

Wilson (photo) also hauled in a a 33-yard catch where he extended his whole body to grab the ball near the sidelines. The ball placed Central at the 18. However, his best play of the night was when he bulled his way to the end zone with a 12-yard run where he drove one Clovis defender back nearly five yards on the inside run. That touchdown became the game-winner.

Wilson: 18 carries for 152 yards and both touchdowns for Grizzlies.

Michiah Quick: It was a somewhat quiet game for the five-star Quick. But that changed when he erupted for a 30-yard punt return that helped set up the Grizzlies' final drive. Quick got the ball to the Clovis 27 before Central marched into the end zone. It was a return where Quick zig-zagged through Clovis' punt team by running to the sidelines, then turning up field before being brought down.

Devon Brewer: The other Arizona pledge hauled in a crucial end zone interception during the third quarter that halted a potential long scoring drive for Clovis.

James Brown and Teofilo Freeman: Relative unknown defenders for Central's talented secondary, until now. Brown got two sacks from his safety spot. Freeman had a key tackle for a loss during Central's early goal-line stand and finished with three tackles. Freeman has received late interest from Sacramento State, Eastern Washington and Fresno State.

Savion Simms and Jovonte Page: The Grizzlies' 2015 defensive backs began the game with crucial early stops. Simms had two tackles on the first drive including one behind the line of scrimmage. He finished with six stops. Page, who plays safety, got a quarterback sack and showed his nose for the football on several run plays. Both have received letters from Colorado. Simms also has heard from San Diego State and Missouri.

In the end, definitely one of the best high school games Cali Gold Mine attended this season. Outstanding effort by both Central and Clovis.

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