Division VI Gold: Segura vs. Metcalf
A year ago, Mendota High's football team was 11-0.
Today, the Aztecs are 8-3.
"Obviously, the season hasn't gone as expected," coach Beto Mejia says.
The consolation, however, is a big one -- a rematch tonight at home for the Central Section Division VI football championship with second-seeded Farmersville (6-5).
Mendota won 41-20 last year, and is top-seeded again.
"There's been disappointments," Mejia says, "but we're in a position we wanted to be. And I think our hunger might be a little bit more this time just because we didn't have an unbeaten season."
It's a repeat D-VI showdown with D-I caliber talent in Mendota junior running back Edgar Segura and Farmersville sophomore quarterback Sam Metcalf.
In Round 1, Segura rushed for 183 yards and two touchdowns, returned a kickoff 85 yards for a score, kicked five extra points and intercepted two passes while closing a Bee All-Star season. He has 2,313 rushing yards and 37 TDs this year after going for 2,063 and 39 as a sophomore.
Metcalf capped a 2,921-yard rookie season by passing for 212 yards and two scores against Mendota, but left the game for good in the third quarter with an arm injury. He has passed for 1,756 yards and 20 TDs in only six games this season after a foot injury. East Sierra League champion Farmersville is 5-1 in his return.
"He's a real polished player who obviously could compete at any level," says Mejia, who coached the County All-Stars to a 22-21 win over the City last summer. "He makes all the right plays, the right calls and the right throws. And Farmersville's coaches and players have done a good job of staying focused and patient until he was healthy."
Mejia returned only three starters this year -- two-way starters Segura and tight end/defensive end Arturo Andrade, and cornerback Christian Ruiz.
"A lot of people counted us out," Mejia says, "and the players used that as motivation to get to this point. We've had a championship week of practice."
--Sunnyside senior Errian Wingfield, coming off a 278-yard, four-touchdown rushing effort in the No. 5 Wildcats' 37-29 D-II upset at No. 4 El Diamante, has gained 4,840 yards on the ground in three years. He needs 60 yards tonight at No. 1 Garces to become the 12th running back in section history to reach 5,000.
Source: Bob Barnett.
Player in the spotlight
--Michiah Quick, Central: The Grizzlies' junior dropped an emphatic clue of things to come by returning two kickoffs for touchdowns in an August scrimmage against Bullard.
An electrifying season has found more sparks in the D-I playoffs. First, he set a school record by returning two interceptions for TDs in a 55-15 win over Tulare. Then, in last week's quarterfinals, he easily beat Bakersfield one-on-one coverage deep while catching a 57-yard TD pass from L.J. Moore in a 42-28 conquest of the defending champion.
Overall, Quick has rushed 39 times for 591 yards and six TDs, caught 12 passes for 119 yards and two TDs and scored 12 times overall for fourth-seeded Central (10-2), which will host No. 8 Liberty-Bakersfield (8-4).
The Patriots finished in a three-way tie for second in the Southwest Yosemite League before shocking top-seeded Clovis 25-23 on the road last week.
Beaten 10-9 at home by Central in a nonleague game Aug. 31, Liberty's pro-set offense features Josh Medina (1,687 passing yards, 66% completions, 16 TDs, one interception) and Corbin Jountti (1,387 rushing yards, 14 TDs).