Kennedy High-Delano had won four games in its five-year existence entering the season, but now has a championship to its credit, beating Avenal 41-20 in the Central Section Division VI title game Friday night.
Senior Rolando Arrona rushed for 235 yards and four touchdowns to help the top-seeded Thunderbirds rally from an early 14-0 deficit.
The Buccaneers knocked off Kennedy 38-6 in last year's quarterfinals.
"We knew we had to take this home," Arrona said. "It's the first time we came to the Valley championship, so we had to capitalize on it. ... It means a lot because we only won four games in (five) years. And now we turned into a 9-3 team and won a championship."
Arrona ran wild in the second half scoring on runs of 60, 68, and 45 yards. He had just 37 yards rushing in the first half. But his first two carries of the after intermission garnered 128 yards a two scores.
Second-seeded Avenal (8-4) stuck mostly to the ground game, running the ball 54 times while attempting just eight passes.
That strategy worked early, as the Buccaneers scored touchdowns on two of their first three possessions to build a 14-0 lead.
The Buccaneers went 80 yards on 11 plays following the game's opening kickoff. The drive was capped off by Santiago Padilla connecting with Eric Ramirez in the end zone on fourth-and-15.
After forcing Kennedy to punt a second time, Avenal extended its lead to 14-0 midway through the second quarter with a 13-play drive that featured 12 running plays, the final one a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Padilla.