RIO RANCHO, N.M. — The Cleveland Storm made an effective point in Friday’s home football game against Eldorado.
The Storm threw in a convincing counterpoint as well.
Bouncing back impressively from last week’s loss at El Paso Franklin, Cleveland scored early and often on its way to a 63-21 drubbing of the Eagles. Better yet for the Storm, star running back Dorian Lewis played only a secondary role.
Junior quarterback Jeff Davison scorched Eldorado’s defense, completing 15 of 18 passes for 345 yards, a career-best seven touchdowns with one interception. Junior wideout Trevon Dennard was equally stellar, finishing with six receptions for 198 yards and five TDs.
“We were not satisfied with the way we played last week as a team,” Davison said. “We just told ourselves to keep working, watch a ton of film and get better this week. I think we did that.”
Cleveland coach Heath Ridenour also wanted to establish some diversity in his team’s offense.
Lewis, the senior standout, broke a 72-yard run on the first play from scrimmage but was relatively quiet the rest of the night. He finished with 93 rushing yards on seven carries with two touchdowns, one coming on a pass reception.
“It was nothing about Eldorado’s defense,” Ridenour said of the pass-happy game plan. “It was just us doing what we do. Dorian Lewis is heck of a football player but he’s not the only weapon in our arsenal.”
Davison and his receiver corps wasted no time making their presence felt. After Dennard caught a 10-yard touchdown pass to cap the opening drive, the Storm (2-1) quickly capitalized on an Eldorado fumble to make it 14-0. Davison hit Lewis with a short pass that the speedy back converted into an 18-yard score.
Lewis added his lone rushing TD — a 7-yard burst — later in the first quarter to make it 21-0, and the Davison-to-Dennard connection took over from there. The duo connected for 70-, 68- and 12-yard touchdowns in the second quarter and added a 29-yard strike early in the third as Cleveland broke the game wide open.
“Career night for Trevon, for sure,” Ridenour said. “Davison wasn’t too bad either.”
(Albuquerque Journal sports writer
Ken Sickenger contributed this story to the Observer.)