It's show time: Nights are about to cool in the central Valley, but not on Fridays. Tonight's card features No. 3 Bakersfield vs. No. 1 Buchanan, Tulare-Mt. Whitney and Corcoran-Kingsburg, among others. And then it really fires up next week with, well, where to begin? Try Buchanan-Edison, Bullard-Clovis West, Hoover-Memorial, Madera-Madera South, El Diamante-Mt. Whitney, Chowchilla-Yosemite and Kerman-Liberty Madera Ranchos.
Bigelow bounces back: Hand it to Central's Brendon Bigelow -- he's always in the news, good or grim. Freshman: Merely placed second in the state 200 meters. Sophomore: Didn't appear in the state meet in an injury-ravaged season. And, now, as a junior: Surely has found the greaseboards of college football recruits by establishing himself on offense, defense and special teams with a rare blend of speed and power.
PLAYER IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Lance Orender, Buchanan: He's in position to make the biggest statement of his prep career. Yes, the 6-6, 195-pounder completed 66% of his passes last year while throwing for 2,040 yards -- including a single-game high of 416 -- and guiding the Bears to a 9-3 record and a share of the TRAC title. But he missed the D-I playoffs with a broken ankle. And tonight's game definitely has playoff ramifications.
GAMES IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Bakersfield at Buchanan: No. 3 at No. 1. 'Nuf said.
Clovis West at Centennial-Corona: Collision of teams with statewide reputations.
Clovis East at Bullard: The Timberwolves (1-2) are the section's mystery team, but there's nothing puzzling about No. 2 Bullard, which has throttled Merced (41-0), Atwater (35-12) and Clovis (48-14) while gathering momentum at a run for the first section title in the 55-year history of the school.
Tulare at Mt. Whitney: Major upgrade in opposition for Mt. Whitney after defeating Western (38-28) and Monache (41-40).
Corcoran at Kingsburg: It matches top-ranked division teams in Corcoran (D-V) and the Vikings (D-IV).
Modesto Christian at Chowchilla: This state intersectional headliner will have the Redskins attempt to defend Modesto Christian quarterback/defensive back Isaiah Burse.
Liberty-Madera Ranchos at Fowler: Always a small schools ticket-seller -- in any sport.
Garces at Memorial: The latest Holy Bowl is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at No. 13 Memorial.
Keep up with the action tonight at fresnobeehive.com/sportsbuzz and on Twitter @scoopysports. Coverage will be provided by Andy Boogaard (Bakersfield at Buchanan) and Nick Giannandrea (Corcoran at Kingsburg). ... Coaches -- got a score to report? Call (559) 441-6379 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.