Clovis News: Sports

Bullard tops Edison in second OT

Sean Kuehter is a sophomore kicker replacing one of Bullard High's all-time football greats in Blake Dunn.

Kuehter found an additional level of pressure Friday night against No. 10 Edison at Chukchansi Park after hooking a 31-yard field goal in the first overtime.

So when the Knights set him up again for a 30-yard game-winner in the second OT, he admitted, "I was nervous."

But the left-footer drilled it through the heart of the north uprights, giving the No. 2 Knights a 17-14 County/Metro Athletic Conference victory.

"I put my head down and followed through," Kuehter said after closing an epic battle that clinched at least a CMAC title tie for the Knights (9-0, 4-0), who will close the regular season against Hoover.

Besides the value of winning a league title, the win was critical for the Knights in their quest of securing a high seed in the Central Section Division I playoffs, which will begin in two weeks. The school has never won a section football championship in its 54 years.

Edison (5-4, 2-2), which will compete in D-II, will finish league play against Clovis North.

In a game that Bullard's Donnie Arax said exceeds any he has experienced in 22 years as an assistant and head coach, the Knights tied it, 14-14, early in the fourth quarter on Kerr Taubler's 14-yard pass on third-and-6 to Chris Kelly.

Kelly also had two interceptions. And Taubler was fortunate just to play a role -- playing for the first time in two weeks after recovering from a staph infection near his throwing elbow, and then gutting it out Friday after a pulling a muscle near his neck on a first-quarter collision.

"When we got down I thought we were done because Kerr couldn't throw the ball," Arax said, "but then he recovered a little bit."

Fittingly, after a scoreless first half, and in a game that the teams split six interceptions, the first touchdown was delivered by a defense -- a 37-yard return of a theft by Bullard junior Chris Tate only 1 minute, 20 seconds into the third quarter. Kuehter's conversion kick made it 7-0.

Edison responded on a 17-yard touchdown run by Vante Johnson with 4:51 to go in the third.

But the Tigers, without kicker Kenny Travis for most of the season with an injury, failed on the 2-point conversion when Johnson never secured the handoff from Max Schuh and fumbled, leaving the score 7-6.

Edison, having already blocked a punt by Louis Ireland in the first quarter, had Alphonso Spanger partially block another, setting the Tigers up on the Knights' 40 late in the third.

In the final minute of the quarter, Max Schuh threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Deontay Greenberry, who came of age with nine receptions for 119 yards. And Schuh scrambled and found Ireland for the conversion and a 14-7 lead.