Just last week, the Golden West High Trailblazers secured the school’s first Central Section football title.
Now Golden West is aiming for a bigger prize. It can thank senior running back Gonzalo Rodriguez for that.
Rodriguez rushed for three touchdowns as Golden West rolled past Big Bear 41-21 in a state Division 5-AA semifinal at Groppetti Community Stadium on the Golden West campus in Visalia on Friday night.
“To host a state game and play so well in it … Big Bear is a very good football team and we played them very well,” Golden West coach Paul Preheim said. “Very proud of the product we put on the field between both teams tonight. The resilience of this football team, everybody just steps in and plays as hard as they can and we just keep fighting. I can’t be prouder of this football team.”
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Rodriguez scored his first touchdown on a 6-yard run in the third quarter to give the Trailblazers a 21-14 lead. He eclipsed 2,000 yards for the season and 5,000 career yards after rushing for 235 yards.
He added two more touchdown runs – including the capper when he scored on a 40-yard run for a 34-14 lead in the fourth quarter.
Golden West next faces defending state champion McClymonds-Oakland (13-0) on Dec. 16 for the state championship. Golden West announced the 6 p.m. game will be at home.
McClymonds went on the road Friday night and beat previously unbeaten East Nicolaus 35-12 in the North regional.