Drillers vs. Knights, again: It's No. 6 Bakersfield (9-2) and No. 2 Bullard (11-0) again in a Central Section Division I semifinal at McLane Stadium a year after the Knights won 35-14 in the quarterfinals, and four years after the Drillers prevailed 35-28 for the Division I title. Bakersfield then won its state-record 34th section crown over Clovis West in 2007. Bullard, meanwhile, is seeking its first section football title in the school's 54-year history, and Drillers coach Paul Golla applauds a Knights team that has outscored the opposition 405-151: "It's one of those games where your stomach is upset until kickoff."
Bakersfield will arrive with an offense featuring junior quarterback Brian Burrell and senior running back Alfonso Jackson, who has scored 10 touchdowns rushing and another nine receiving. And the Drillers' defense, behind linemen Emilio Cantu and Anthony Davis and linebackers Peter Welsh and Stephen Schroeter, is at the top of its game after holding No. 3 Stockdale to 17 yards rushing and recording eight sacks in a 24-12 win. Golla expects the Knights to attack behind quarterback Kerr Taubler, who was outstanding in last year's win, and receiver Jajuan Hammond, who caught 10 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns in last week's 35-9 rout of No. 7 Clovis West.
PLAYER IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Trevor Jones, Tulare: The senior quarterback, who hasn't thrown an interception in 145 attempts, faces his most difficult assignment of the season in a home semifinal against fifth-seeded Edison (8-4). Jones has completed 74% of his passes (108 of 145) for 2,267 yards and 37 touchdowns for the Redskins (11-0), who are top-seeded and unbeaten in two seasons. Last week, in a 55-12 romp over No. 8 Sanger, he was 8 out of 13 for 132 yards and four touchdowns. Headed possibly to one of the nation's service academies as an option quarterback, he also rushed 11 times for 151 yards and a score against the Apaches (6-6), who tied Edison for second place in the County/Metro Athletic Conference with a 3-2 record. Jones will attack a Tigers secondary coordinated by safety Tevin McDonald, who has committed to UCLA. And Kenny Travis, another safety, could return after missing nine games with a broken clavicle.
OTHER GAMES IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Rematch in D-VI title game: Fifth-seeded Orange Cove (7-5) will visit No. 2 Strathmore (8-3) for the D-VI championship two months after Orange Cove won 28-24 at home in a nonleague game between the teams. Both coasted in last week's semifinals -- Strathmore defeating Mendota 53-20 and the Titans eliminating defending champion Tranquillity 42-23.
Dinuba's dandy 'D': A week after shutting down one of the section's leading passers in Clovis North's Chris Mariscal (10 of 25, 56 yards), No. 1 Dinuba (9-2) will remain at home to confront No. 5 Hanford (8-4) and section record-holding quarterback Cannon Sanchez.
-- Andy Boogaard, The Fresno Bee Follow us: Keep up with the action tonight at fresnobeehive.com/sports buzz and on Twitter @scoopysports. Coverage will be provided by Andy Boogaard (Bakersfield at Bullard), Nick Giannandrea (Edison at Tulare), Jeff Davis (Hanford at Dinuba) and Megan Poindexter (Liberty-Madera Ranchos at Fowler).