Second-year Selma High School football coach Matt Logue began growing a beard in June.
Roughly five months, nine wins and one long-time-coming league title later, Logue looks like he could be the fourth member of ZZ Top.
Logue vowed not to shave until his Bears lost, and Friday night they extended an unbeaten season behind 291 passing yards and four touchdowns from Junior Ramirez in a 47-14 Central Sequoia League victory over Exeter.
The win gave The Bee’s Central Section No. 16-ranked Selma (9-0, 4-0) at least a share of its first league title since 1997.
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“It’s definitely something I thought this team was capable of,” Logue said. “But you never go into the season thinking you are going to win every game. That’s part of the reason I’ve got this beard. I just said one day, ‘I’m not going to shave until we lose,’ And now I look like this. It’s a great thing. Being 9-0, the big thing about that is it sets us up for our big goals at the end of the season that we’re hoping to achieve.”
Being 9-0 really don’t mean nothing. All these games are just games to set us up for the playoffs.
Selma quarterback Junior Ramirez, who passed for 291 yards and four touchdowns in a 47-14 win over Exeter that clinched at least a share of the Bears’ first league title since 1997.
Selma, The Bee’s top-ranked Division IV team, has not won a section title since going 13-0 and winning the Sequoia Division championship in 1980.
If the Bears close out an undefeated regular season Nov. 4 at rival Kingsburg, Logue said his team should secure the No. 1 seed in D-IV. Playoff seedings for the section’s six divisions will be announced Nov. 5, with the postseason beginning Nov. 11.
“It’s a great feeling. The team has been working hard for it. So the hard work is paying off,” said Ramirez, who completed all 10 of his passes. “But being 9-0 really don’t mean nothing. All these games are just games to set us up for the playoffs.”
Ramirez got the Bears rolling with a 42-yard touchdown pass to Rudy Rodriguez to open the scoring in the first quarter.
Ramirez’s 60-yard touchdown pass to Tiveon Stroud and a 3-yard scoring run sent Selma into halftime with a 34-14 lead.
And after a scoreless third quarter, Ramirez helped the Bears put it away with touchdown passes of 26 yards to Rodriguez and 46 yards to Jason Nicacio to cap a season-best performance.
I just said one day, ‘I’m not going to shave until we lose,’ And now I look like this.
Selma coach Matt Logue
That was more than enough offense for a Selma defense that received three sacks and a fumble recovery from Abraham Rangel, as well as sacks by Nicacio, Jordan Dominguez (who also had a pair of touchdown runs), Joaquin Alcaraz and Matthew Ramirez.
The Bears, who were holding opponents to 6.9 points per game, allowed Exeter touchdowns on consecutive first-quarter possessions – a 1-yard run by Skylar Miller and a 15-yard pass from Miller to Caison Wallen – before shutting out the Monarchs (4-5, 1-3) the rest of the way.
“We came out the first half kind of slow,” Rangel said. “We regathered our thoughts at halftime. We said we’re a better team than this and we know what we have to do. After we started getting on a roll, we’re like, ‘All right, let’s do what we always do.’ ”