Imagine Khari McGee and Christian Rossi attending intermediate school together?
Further, imagine one of them not even playing sports at the school?
It happened four years ago at Granite Ridge -- the Clovis North feeder -- when Rossi was quarterbacking the football team and McGee was playing, instead, for San Joaquin Memorial's Pop Warner team. He would transfer to Edison a year later.
Friday, Rossi and McGee will come together again, as opponents and as two of the Central Section's elite quarterbacks when second-seeded Clovis North (10-1) plays No. 6 Edison (9-3) at Veterans Memorial Stadium in the Division I semifinals.
While Rossi has been remarkably consistent for the Broncos, it's been a roller-coaster season for McGee, a preseason All-State selection by Cal-Hi Sports.
McGee's past four games:
15 for 20 against Frontier, 5 for 12 against Clovis West, 10 for 16 against Bullard and 4 for 16 against Memorial.
But it was showtime at third-seeded Frontier as he passed for 194 yards and a touchdown without an interception.
A 59-yard completion saw McGee get hammered while releasing a pass that traveled 30 yards and was caught one-handed by a leaping Isaiah Runderson, who then advanced it to the Frontier 13 (see a video of the play at sports.fresnobeehive.com).
Edison was a mystery after opening County/Metro Athletic Conference play with a 35-29 loss to Sanger on Oct 5.
Since, the Tigers have averaged 45.3 points in a six-game winning streak and are a mystery no more.
When fate isn't kind
Tough way to go last Friday for Clovis, Mt. Whitney and Coalinga.
And, for Clovis coach Rich Hammond, it's been three years in a row. Can't think of a section coach who's done more, only to receive less -- in November at least.
- In the 2010 semis, three weeks after losing 56-14 to Clovis West, the Cougars outplayed the Golden Eagles for all but a couple minutes, but were betrayed by a late interception and fumble in a 19-14 loss.
- Last year, a late-season injury to its go-to offensive player, running back Yoon Conner, likely cost Clovis a top seed, home-field advantage and ultimately maybe the D-I title as well.
- Last week, the top-seeded Cougars outgained Liberty-Bakersfield 334-238 and had two 100-yard rushers, only to lose 25-23 on two fourth-quarter fumble returns for scores.
For Mt. Whitney, the Pioneers lost wide receiver Darius Armstead -- arguably the section's most consistent playmaker this season -- early in the second quarter to an ankle injury in a 21-20 loss to Porterville.
And at Coalinga, Ryan Vasquez didn't play because of a broken rib -- denying the Horned Toads a running back with 1,368 yards and 21 TDs, and also a standout defensive lineman -- in a 34-19 D-IV loss to Chowchilla.
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