Nate Hughes passed for 298 of Sunnyside High’s 589 total yards and the Wildcats forced five fumbles while coasting to a home-field 49-7 victory over Mt. Whitney in a nonleague game Thursday night.
Hughes, a 6-foot-4 senior, completed 21 of 36 attempts, including touchdowns of 9-yards to Aaron Moton, 19 to Joshua Woods and 71 to Tyren McIntyre, as the 2-1 and Division II Wildcats of the North Yosemite League broke through following losses to The Fresno Bee’s ninth-ranked Clovis North (30-6) and No. 12 Central (56-15)– both D-I.
Jesus Castaneda, shifting between fullback, tight end and the slot at 6-1, 225 pounds, caught 11 of Hughes passes for 130 yards and rarely went down on initial contact.
Division II Mt. Whitney, likewise, had opened the season 0-2 to ranked opposition in 17th-ranked and D-II Tulare (35-7) and No. 13 and D-III Tulare Western (54-20).
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Sunnyside, which will return to D-I opposition when playing Clovis East of the Tri-River Athletic Conference next Friday at Lamonica Stadium, also hit the Pioneers hard on the ground behind Ricky Valderrama (8-135, one TD) and Marcus Hawkins (13-132, 2 TDs).
Juan Aispuro, a 6-0, 260-pound junior center, led the way up front for the Wildcats.
Sunnyside received fumble recoveries from Dyandre Morehead, DeShawn Ruffin and Nate Washington, and interceptions from Ruffin and Decovu Sneed.
Jason Rosas carried 15 times for 73 yards for Mt. Whitney, which will play Mission Oak next week Friday at Golden West’s Gropetti Stadium.
Exeter 41, McLane 6
Skylar Miller, who broke his leg returning a kickoff against the Highlanders a year ago, passed for 201 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Monarchs (3-0).
Miller – who was a receiver, safety and kick returner last season – fired scoring passes of 9 yards to Caison Wallen and 17 yards to Daniel Thompson as Exeter opened a 14-6 lead in the first half.
Miller’s 23-yard scoring strike to Trystin Johnston essentially put the score out of reach at 33-6 with 10:15 left in the fourth quarter.
Miller, who also missed all of last basketball season and was initially feared to be finished with athletics, completed 10 of 15 passes and had two drops and an apparent completion that was ruled incomplete when the receiver lost control of the ball after he was out of bounds.
Exeter also received 101 yards rushing and three touchdowns from Anthony Torres, who scored on runs of 1 and 3 yards in the third quarter, and on a 4-yarder in the fourth.
McLane answered Exeter’s first score with a 14-play, 68-yard drive capped by Khalil Martin’s 4-yard touchdown run. But the Highlanders (0-2) only got into Exeter territory two more times the rest of the night.