Don Arax said he was most worried about his defense entering Central Section third-ranked Bullard High School’s opener against No. 5 Central at McLane Stadium.
During the game, there wasn’t much reason for concern for Bullard’s 17-year coach.
The Knights limited the Grizzlies to a first-quarter field goal and pulled away for a 24-3 victory behind two Jack Taylor touchdown runs.
“I love the way we flew around on defense,” Arax said. “That’s the best we’ve actually hit in a few years. That’s the Bullard defense I used to have.”
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Bullard forced four turnovers, including second-half interceptions by Ben Baker and Joshua Kelly, thwarting drives by Central in its first game under coach Kyle Biggs.
“We just hustled, discipline, tackling, all the above,” Baker said. “Those guys are real fast and had a lot of athletes, we just had to cover, cover, cover.”
After Tiago Paim’s 26-yard field goal for Central, it was all Bullard.
The Knights went ahead on the next possession, scoring on Marcus Fulcher’s run from a yard out that followed a roughing-the-kicker penalty on a field-goal attempt.
Bullard made it 21-3 in the second quarter on scoring runs of 11 yards and one yard by Taylor.
Brandon Simonian’s 37-yard field goal in the third quarter provided the final margin for Bullard, which continues its nonleague schedule next week with Buchanan, followed by Clovis, Centennial and Clovis West.
“This gives us a lot of confidence, but we’ve got a huge preseason schedule,” Baker said. “We just have to keep moving, don’t get a big head or anything.”
Bullard 24, Central 3
C: FG Tiago Paim 26
B: Marcus Fulcher 1 run (Brandon Simonian kick)
B: Jack Taylor 11 run (Simonian kick)
B: Taylor 1 run (Simonian kick)
B: FG Simonian 37
RUSHING: Central, Diotry Brewer 11-49, Jevon Bigelow 1-6, Trent Tompkins 11-36, Adrian Lopez 3-10, Austin Bebout 2-13, Jake Rohrmann 1-4. Bullard, Fulcher 12-21, Ontario Walls 7-8, Taylor 13-38, Bradley Jorge 17-93, Daylan Zarate 3-39, Davion Franklin 4-11.
PASSING: Central, 14-25-2-138, Rohrmann 4-8-0-33. Buchanan, Taylor 2-8-0-26, Parker Jacobs 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING: Central, Jacob Torrez 5-38, Jagade Bishop 4-47, Malik White 4-47, Brandon Ballard 2-17, Avery Body 1-9, Tyrell Grayson 1-9, Bebout 1-4. Bullard, Zarate 1-4, Cameron Lamanuzzi 1-22.