Behind a stout defense and a methodical offense, The Bee’s Central Section 10-ranked Sanger High beat defending Division I champion and 11th-ranked Edison 23-6 during an emotional night at Tom Flores Stadium.
The Apaches home venue was packed with many anticipating the return of Tom Flores, the three-time Super Bowl Champion and former Oakland Raiders head coach who was scheduled to deliver the game balls as part of a nationwide campaign to honor schools that contributed to Super Bowl history.
Flores, however, was unable to make it back to Sanger because of travel issues caused by mudslides.
Despite his absence, the Apaches (6-1, 2-0) gave the rowdy hometown crowd much to cheer for in the highly anticipated CMAC showdown.
Never miss a local story.
The Apaches amassed six sacks, each by a different player, as Sanger regularly roughed up Tigers (2-5, 1-1) quarterback Gerard Mendez, the sophomore transfer from Sunnyside who was playing in just his second game of the season.
The sacks were delivered by Josiah Arreola, Adrian Valencia, Eli Koenig, Joel Lopez, Angel Alvarez and Matthew Davila.
Sanger running back Isaiah Hilliard scored two touchdowns – both on 1-yard runs – and finished with 123 yards on 28 carries.
Edison’s lone score occurred with 11:48 remaining on a LaRue Temple 5-yard run that had reduced Sanger’s lead to 16-6. Temple, however, was held to just 29 yards on six carries after gaining 185 rushing yards last week in a 19-7 win against Memorial.
Sanger’s Miguel Garcia responded to Edison’s touchdown with a 12-yard scamper in the fourth for the game’s final score.
Jayson Lee lifted his team to a late win for the second straight week when his 17-yard touchdown run with 28 seconds left that put the Tri-River Athletic Conference co-leading Broncos (4-2, 2-0) ahead of the Timberwolves (3-4, 0-2) for good.
His 1-yard touchdown run with 1:40 remaining against Clovis West gave Clovis North a 20-17 win over the Golden Eagles on Oct. 9.
Lee finished with four touchdowns.
Marcus Washington had put Clovis East ahead 43-42 earlier in the fourth quarter with a touchdown run and 2-point conversion run.
David Akande broke up a Timberwolves pass play at the 1-yard line on the game’s final play to preserve the win for the Broncos, who received an interception return for a touchdown in the first half from Jay Vidinoff.
Logan Ahlin passed for 256 yards and accounted for four touchdowns as the Tigers (6-2, 4-0) cruised past the Pioneers (4-3, 2-1) and remained on course to face rival Hanford for the outright West Yosemite League title in the Nov. 6 Milk Can game.
Hanford also improved to 4-0 in WYL play with a 28-21 victory over Golden West. The Tigers and Bullpups each entered last season’s Milk Can game undefeated, with Lemoore winning 24-13.
Ahlin scored on a 5-yard run and threw touchdown passes to Trey Perryman and Reggie Davis as the Tigers built a 35-0 lead in the first half. Perryman and Davis also delivered first-half touchdown runs.
Lemoore has outscored its four WYL opponents 131-0 in the first half.
The Tigers pulled away in the second half behind Ahlin’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Davis, and a 9-yard Brandon Vargas scoring run.
Luis Pelayo kicked a 37-yard field goal with 1 minute left, and Chris Paz came up with an interception deep in Memorial territory on the game’s final play as the Panthers (6-1, 1-1) held off a late rally by the Coyotes (4-2, 0-2) for the County/Metro Athletic Conference win.
Memorial led 59-28 with 6 minutes left in the third quarter before Madera, ranked third in D-III behind the No. 2 Panthers, started chipping away.
Joey Ruiz rushed for 273 yards and four touchdowns and also returned an interception for a score to lead Memorial. Michael Alvarez added 331 yards passing and three touchdowns.
Madera received three touchdown run from Christopher Chapa and two apiece from Jerry Hernandez and Pablo Villasana.
Romelllo Harris climbed another rung on the section career rushing list with a 29-carry, 272-yard, three-touchdown performance as the Redskins (7-0, 2-0) rolled past the Tigers (2-5, 0-2) in the East Yosemite League.
Harris increased his four-season total to 7,182 yards, moving past former Bakersfield great Steve Wofford (7,100) for the third-most rushing yards in section history.
Harris trails only former Tulare standout Dominique Dorsey (7,761) and ex-Mendota star Edgar Segura (8,029), according to section historian Bob Barnett, with three regular season games remaining and the playoffs.
Kymonte Williams rushed for 155 yards and a touchdown to lead the Miners (3-4, 1-2) over the Huskies (1-7, 0-4) in the West Yosermite League.
Williams’ 2-yard touchdown run in the third quarter put El Diamante ahead 28-0.
El Diamante went ahead 21-0 in the first half on Alec Pierce’s 2-yard scoring run, a 39-yard touchdown pass from Joey Vink to Kamarea Stephens and Keylan Liles’ 2-yard run.
Liles rushed for 93 yards on 10 carries.
Anthony Sierra completed 16 of 21 passes for 369 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Vikings (5-2, 1-0) over the Emperors (4-4, 1-1) in the Central Sequoia League.
Sierra connected with Emmett Brooks on a 74-yard pass for the game's first score in the first quarter, and also hit Austin Martin (54 yards) and Seth Brooks (32 yards) for long scores.
Seth Brooks also rushed for touchdowns of 5 and 2 yards during a 26-carry, 109-yard evening. Twin brother Emmett caught eight passes for 199 yards while Martin finished with three catches for 103.
Dinuba received a pair of touchdown passes from Isaac Leppke to Jacob Paradine.
Robby Stevenson – the freshman quarterback grandson of Tigers legend Leo Robinson, the Central Section’s all-time winningest football coach – threw four touchdown passes to win his second varsity start.
Stevenson completed 7 of 8 passes for 141 yards as East Sequoia League co-leading Woodlake (5-2, 2-0) cruised past the Panthers (1-5,1-1). The Tigers host Lindsay, a 20-17 winner over Granite Hills, on Oct. 23 in a showdown for sole possession of first place in the ESL.
Keanu Garcia scored on runs of 22 and 4 yards, and Kevin Valladares and Jose Sanchez connected for a 25-yard scoring pass as the Pirates (2-4, 2-0) bolted to a 20-0 halftime lead before coasting over the Highlanders (3-4, 0-2) in the NYL.
Reedley, which opened league play with a 42-19 win over Roosevelt, increased its lead to 34-0 late in the third on a 7-yard run by Valladares and a 32-yard bolt by Ben McCabe.
Kaleo Acfalle scored on a 1-yard run and threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jose Medina to lift the Patriots (1-6, 1-1) over the Rough Riders (1-6, 0-2) in the NYL.
Hoover also received a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown from Brandon Cabrera.
Panthers running back Isaiah Jones ran wild for a career-high 426 yards and five touchdowns.
But it was the Mustangs (4-3, 2-0) who prevailed in the East Yosemite League game after quarterback Andre Aguilar broke free for the winning touchdown on a 20-yard run with 31 seconds.
While the two teams traded scores throughout the night, Porterville’s attack proved to be just a steady dosage of Jones.
The senior back carried the ball 34 times and busted out touchdown runs of 52, 60, 77, 60 and 7 yards.
Still, Tulare Western kept pace the entire night with Aguilar completing 17 of 28 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns and supplying the winning score on the ground.
Tulare Western’s David Alcantar also scored twice and rushed for 96 yards.
The Panthers fell to 2-5 overall and 1-1 in league play.
Noah Beukers found the end zone three times and the Panthers didn’t allow any points in the final three quarters to upset the Redskins (5-2, 1-1 North Sequoia League), who were ranked No. 2 in The Bee’s Central Section Division IV rankings.
Washington (4-3, 2-0) fell behind 12-0 after one quarter but got on track thanks in part to a safety in the second quarter than triggered 30 straight unanswered points.
Beukers finished with 59 yards on 28 carries, scoring on runs of 28 and 8 yards and a 4-yard pass from Ashanti Ross. Teammate Carlos Silva caught seven passes for 61 yards.
Jackson Watts rushed for two touchdowns and caught a 46-yard score from Markie Brandt to keep the Hawks (6-1, 2-0) in a share of first place in the NSL with a win over the Chieftains (1-5, 0-2).
Chad Wallace added 105 yards rushing and two touchdowns for Liberty, which plays at Washington on Oct. 23 for sole possession of first place in the NSL.
Mark Rodriguez rushed 13 times for 160 yards and two touchdowns as the Lions (3-3, 1-1 NSL) cruised to victory against the Badgers (0-6, 0-2).
Kerman led 28-0 at halftime and scored six straight touchdowns before Yosemite got on the scoreboard.
Rodriguez, who was one of four Kerman players to reach the end zone, ran in touchdowns from 18 and 17 yards. Teammate Sean Chambers tallied three touchdowns with scoring runs from 5 and 18 yards and a catch of 32 yards from Angel Lechuga.
Running back JP Sanchez rushed for 231 yards, including breakaway touchdown runs of 31 and 77 yards and the Cowboys (2-5, 1-0 West Sequoia League) beat the Mustangs (2-4, 0-2).
In addition, Riverdale’s Fernando Zarate rushed 14 times for 145 yards and two touchdowns.
Kolin Stock’s third touchdown of the game, a 1-yard plunge with 5:21 remaining in the fourth quarter, gave the Cavaliers (5-2, 1-1) enough points to hold off the Monarchs (0-2, 5-3) for the Central Sequoia League win.
Stock also scored on runs of 4 and 34 yards, part of a 34-carry, 250-yard night.
Exeter got within three points with 2:59 left on the last of Anthony Torres’ three touchdown runs, a 2-yarder that followed scores of 10 and 11 yards.
Tyler Breedlove and Nick LeBlanc accounted for three touchdowns each as the Eagles recorded another blowout victory.
Fresno Christian (6-2, 3-0) has outscored its past two opponents 115-0, including a 55-0 win against Kings Christian last week.
Breedlove threw touchdown passes of 11 and 40 yards and returned a punt 53 yards for another score.
LeBlanc had the game’s final three touchdowns, on runs of 16, 19 and 2 yards.
Tyler Villines finished with 100 yards and two touchdowns on just five carries, scoring on a 47-yard rush and a 21-yard scamper.
Izaiah Moreno scored on three of his nine carries, converting touchdowns on runs of 23, 11 and 9 yards to lead the Redcats (4-2) over the Titans (2-4) in a nonleague game.
Moreno finished with 103 yards rushing.
Fowler quarterback Matt Kahaian passed for 198 yards and touchdowns of 41 and 60 yards to Victorio Jimenez and 57 yards to Chris Silva.
Victor Castarejon scored two of his three touchdowns in the Aztecs' 21-point fourth quarter that allowed them to hold off the Mustangs (0-4, 0-1) in the East Sierra League.
Castarejon scored on runs of 1, 1 and 18 yards for Farmersville (2-5, 2-0). He finished with 135 yards on 22 carries.