Two plays in the final minute of the first half Friday night summed up the season for the undefeated Selma High School football team.
Everything has just seemed to work out for The Fresno Bee’s Central Section No. 15-ranked and Division IV top-ranked Bears, who clinched the outright Central Sequoia League title with a 48-14 victory over Kingsburg in the 84th meeting of the neighboring rivals. The game drew an estimated 6,000 fans.
Junior Ramirez threw an improbable 34-yard touchdown pass to Joel Aranda, and then Ramirez connected with Rudy Rodriguez on an even more unlikely two-point conversion to send Selma (10-0, 5-0 CSL) on its way to its widest margin of victory and second straight win in the series, which the Vikings lead 47-35-2.
The touchdown was improbable because it came on fourth and 12. The conversion added to the oh-my factor because a chop block penalty on a successful conversion backed the Bears up to the 31-yard line.
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We have some dudes who are really good football players.
Selma football coach Matt Logue
But a pass interference penalty on Kingsburg gave Selma new life and Ramirez converted a 16-yard pass to Rodriguez to give the Bears a lead, 14-7, that they would not relinquish.
“The bottom line, when you have a season like this, it comes down to we have a pretty talented team,” Selma coach Matt Logue said. “We have some dudes who are really good football players. It makes a coach’s job a lot easier when you have that many weapons on the field.”
After halftime, Selma got a strip sack by Jason Nicacio; a 32-yard fumble return for a score by Jordan Dominguez; and a 73-yard punt return for a touchdown from Aranda for a 28-7 advantage.
“Energy was everything; that happened and we just rolled on,” Dominguez said.
Kingsburg (7-3, 3-2) closed to 28-14 with 10:04 left in the game when Caleb Buendia recovered a blocked punt in the end zone, but the Bears’ defense took over from there.
After forcing a four-and-out on the Vikings’ next possession, Dominguez broke loose for a 22-yard touchdown run, then Joaquin Alcaraz ended Kingsburg’s next two possessions with strip sacks. The first was returned by Abraham Rangel 22 yards for a score; the second set the stage for Rodriguez’s 6-yard touchdown run that capped the scoring with 2:25 remaining.
Kingsburg’s other score came on a 2-yard run by Bo Jackson, following the block of USC commit Andrew Vorhees, in the first quarter. Jackson finished with 153 rushing yards.