It didn't take long for Golden Valley to show its fans there is reason for excitement this year.
Running back Ernie Teal took a handoff on a draw play, raced around the left end and picked up a great block by Bryant Brown and then Teal did the rest. The senior sprinted 87 yards down the sideline for a touchdown on the Cougars' sixth play of the game.
It was one of many big first-half plays for Golden Valley.
However, Clovis showed why many people believe it is the best team in the Central Section as they provided some big plays of their own in a 48-21 win over Golden Valley in the Cougars first game at Veterans Stadium in front of a crowd of 3,000 on Friday night.
"I think we're getting there," Golden Valley coach Jake Messina said. "We're getting there, but against the No. 1 team in the Central Section there isn't a lot of room for error."
Golden Valley matched Clovis stride for stride early. Teal's big run brought the Golden Valley crowd to its feet.
It didn't take long for Clovis to answer back with a 12-play, 68-yard drive of its own that lasted 6 minutes and 26 seconds. Roderick Arms capped the drive with a 1-yard plunge to tie the game at 7-7.
Brown and Andre Bodiker helped set up the GV offense in good field position all night with long returns.
Brown's 37-yard return set up Golden Valley at the Clovis 45 -yard line on its next possesion. Seven plays later quarterback Ridge Bertuccio found Brown on a seam route for a 16-yard touchdown pass to give GV the lead at 14-7.
Bertuccio complete 14 of 28 passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns.
He later found Bodiker for a 14-yard touchdown pass to give Golden Valley a 21-14 lead with 10:04 left in the second quarter.
Clovis took over from there.
Nate Palomino finished off a 71-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown run to tie the score at 21-21.
Clovis then tipped a punt that set up its offense at the GV 31-yard line. Two plays later, Garrett Olson scored on a 13-yard run to give Clovis its first lead at 28-21.
Jacob Poindexter added two field goals of 35 and 38-yards to give Clovis a 34-21 lead at the half.
Golden Valley's defense settled down in the second half, but was unable to find the same groove.