Liberty-Bakersfield has taken over the top spot in The Fresno Bee’s Central Section football rankings and Bullard and Buchanan are rising entering Thursday’s showdown at McLane Stadium.
Liberty, the defending Division I champion, rallied for a 28-24 season-opening win over then-No. 1 Clovis West at Lamonica Stadium in a game sure to have major playoff seeding influence in a little more than two months.
“Yes, that’s important, but we’ve got to worry about (this) week,” said coach Bryan Nixon of the Patriots, who will host defending D-II champ and No. 12 Ridgeview (0-1) this week. The Wolf Pack will play without running back/cornerback Jamar Moya, who was ejected for a personal foul in the first quarter of a 34-20 loss to then-unranked Stockdale. An ejection draws an automatic one-game suspension per California Interscholastic Federation rules.
1 Back to the top in The Fresno Bee’s Central Section football rankings for Liberty-Bakersfield eight months after winning the Division I title
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Bullard, in another result likely to have D-I seeding repercussions, blasted then-No. 5 Central 24-3.
Buchanan dominated two-year reigning D-III champion Hanford 33-14 while knocking out Bee 2015 Player of the Year Ryan Johnson early in the first quarter.
The three-year quarterback, who has made an oral commitment to San Jose State, underwent five hours of CT scan and MRI testing on his left ankle and knee Monday at Sierra Pacific Orthopedics in Fresno.
Walking on crutches, he’s expected to receive the results no later than Tuesday, said his father, Sandy Johnson.
“We’re in limbo until then,” his father said Monday.
Clovis crush – Clovis, the 2015 D-I runner-up rising to No. 3 in the rankings, received an encouraging performance from tight end Clayton Alexander and a plethora of others in a 36-0 rout of Burbank-Sacramento on Saturday at Lamonica Stadium.
Alexander, who missed the second half of last season with a broken leg, had four receptions for 62 yards, including touchdowns of 9, 26 and 14 yards from quarterback Trey Lake.
Cougars running back Samir Allen, who missed all of last season with a broken leg, carried 10 times for 57 yards.
Clovis offensive tackles Seth Nevills and Cole Acevedo took turns commanding Burbank defensive end D.J. Johnson, who has committed to Miami.
And helping pitch the Cougars’ defensive shutout were linebacker/linemen Spencer Smith and Quinn Vosmera and deep back Dyllon Hudec.
Clovis will continue its nonleague schedule Saturday night at Turlock of the Sac-Joaquin Section.
CENTRAL SECTION FOOTBALL RANKINGS
- 1. Liberty-Bakersfield (SWYL, 1-0)
- 2. Bullard (CMAC, 1-0)
- 3. Clovis (TRAC,1-0)
- 4. Clovis West TRAC, 0-1)
- 5. Bakersfield (SWYL, 1-0)
- 6. Edison (CMAC, 0-1)
- 7. Clovis North (TRAC, 1-0)
- 8. Buchanan (TRAC, 1-0)
- 9. Stockdale (SWYL, 1-0)
- 10. Sanger (CMAC, 1-0)
- 11. Central (TRAC, 0-1)
- 12. Ridgeview (SYL, 0-1)
- 13. Centennial (SWYL, 0-1)
- 14. Tulare Western (EYL, 1-0)
- 15. Memorial (CMAC, 1-0)
- 16. Dinuba (CSL, 1-0)
- 17. Tulare (EYL, 1-0)
- 18. Hanford (WYL, 0-1)
- 19. Selma (CSL, 1-0)
- 20. Garces (SWYL, 1-0)