A promotion for Central High and demotion for Hanford following a bizarre Bullpups loss to Golden West highlight Week 9 Central Section football rankings.
Central inherited the throne atop the overall rankings from Clovis after a 21-17 Tri-River Athletic Conference win over the then-No. 1 Cougars last week at Koligian Stadium.
It was the sixth straight victory for the Grizzlies, who are 6-1 overall and tied with Clovis West in the TRAC at 2-0.
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Central will play No. 12 Clovis North (4-3, 1-1) at Veterans Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. Thursday. Clovis West will play Clovis East (0-7, 0-2) at Lamonica Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday.
Hanford, meanwhile, continues to be humbled after experiencing the opposite the past two years, when the Bullpups went a combined 26-2 with consecutive section Division III titles and a CIF State Division IV-AA crown last season.
The reversal began immediately for Hanford when San Jose State-bound quarterback Ryan Johnson, The Bee’s 2015 Player of the Year, tore an ACL on the team’s first possession of what would be a 33-14 loss to Buchanan in a season opener on Aug. 26.
Then Friday night, in a home West Yosemite League game against Golden West, the Bullpups were beaten 23-21 when sophomore Leonard Glass fielded a kickoff at the 2-yard line, retreated to the end zone and took a knee for an unintended safety. That broke a 21-21 tie with 3 minutes, 25 seconds remaining.
It was Glass who had given Hanford a shot by carrying 24 times for 160 yards.
“He’s a great young man,” Bullpups coach Josh Young told The Hanford Sentinel. “He’s only a sophomore and he plays like a grown man. I have the utmost faith in him. There were other mistakes in the game we have to fix. You can’t put it on one play.”
Hanford slips from No. 14 to No. 19 in the overall rankings, but remains No. 1 in Division III.
Golden West bumps up one spot to No. 18 overall and moves into No. 2 in D-IV.
Selma improved to 7-0, but barely, with a 28-21 win over Dinuba to stay atop D-IV. The Bears will play at home against Immanuel (1-5) Friday night.
Central Section Football Rankings
- 1. Central (TRAC, 6-1)
- 2. Clovis (TRAC, 6-1)
- 3. Liberty-Bakersfield (SWYL, 5-2)
- 4. Clovis West (TRAC, 5-2)
- 5. Bakersfield (SWYL, 5-2)
- 6. Sanger (CMAC, 7-0)
- 7. Buchanan (TRAC, 4-3)
- 8. Bullard (CMAC, 3-4)
- 9. Garces (SWYL, 5-2)
- 10. Ridgeview (SYL, 3-4)
- 11. Redwood (WYL, 7-0)
- 12. Clovis North (TRAC, 4-3)
- 13. Edison (CMAC, 2-5)
- 14. Sunnyside (NYL, 5-2)
- 15. Centennial (SWYL, 2-5)
- 16. Stockdale (SWYL, 4-3)
- 17. Selma (CSL, 7-0)
- 18. Golden West (WYL, 6-1)
- 19. Hanford (WYL, 4-4)
- 20. Tulare (EYL, 6-1)
- Division I: 1. Central, 2. Clovis, 3. Liberty-Bakersfield
- Division II: 1. Sanger, 2. Garces, 3. Ridgeview
- Division III: 1. Hanford, 2. Bakersfield Christian (7-1), 3. South (6-2)
- Division IV: 1. Selma, 2. Golden West, Washington (5-3)
- Division V: 1. Mendota (7-0), 2. Firebaugh (6-1), 3. Caruthers (6-1)
- Division VI: 1. Strathmore (7-0), 2. Kennedy (5-3), 3. Orosi (4-3)