The way San Joaquin Memorial High coach Anthony Goston sees it, the next three games for his football team is a way to prepare for the Central Section playoffs.
The Panthers (7-0) face Edison (4-3) in a County/Metro Athletic Conference matchup Friday night at Ratcliffe Stadium. Both teams are 2-0 in the CMAC.
“We know we’re going to play quality teams in the CMAC,” Goston said. “That’s going to prepare us for the playoffs. We’re going to see every style and talent levels” in the Division III playoffs. The Panthers are the defending section champions.
After Edison, SJM finishes at Madera and home against Sanger.
The Panthers are coming off a 49-6 rout of Madera South behind senior quarterback and San Jose State commit Alec Trujillo, who completed 15 of 15 for 363 yards and five touchdowns.
Trujillo’s 15 of 15 is the third-best perfect mark (in terms of total passes) in section history, according to section historian Bob Barnett.
Edison coach Atnaf Harris said he’s wary of that passing attack. “They feature the best wide receiver in our area in Jalen McMillan. They also have a big-play threat in Josh Kelly who can stretch the field, as well. Their quarterback is a very accurate passer and can make all the throws on the field. Their offense can be very explosive. Our defense has yet to play our best game thus far, so we are looking forward to the challenge.”
Goston said he just wants his team to play with “consistency.”
In other CMAC games Friday, Sanger (6-1, 1-1) visits Madera South (0-7, 0-2) and Madera (4-3, 0-2) hosts Bullard (1-6, 0-2).
Tri-River Athletic Conference – The top-ranked Central Grizzlies (7-0, 2-0) take a 13-game TRAC winning streak against Clovis North (2-4, 1-1) at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Thursday night.
In TRAC games Friday, Clovis (5-2, 1-1) visits Buchanan (5-2, 1-1) and Clovis East (4-3, 1-1) plays Clovis West (0-7, 0-2) at Lamonica Stadium.
North Yosemite League – Hoover picked up its first win under first-year coach Russ Pickett. The Patriots next face Sunnyside at McLane Stadium on Friday.
The Patriots (1-6, 1-1) surprised Roosevelt 35-13 behind quarterback Jordan Daniels’ record-setting night.
Daniels had 21 carries for 328 yards – a school record, Barnett said.
He had touchdown runs of 7, 50, 91 and 43 yards and returned a 75-yard interception for his fifth touchdown, which tied a tied school record.
In NYL games Thursday, Fresno (3-4, 2-0) plays at Sunnyside (1-6, 1-1) and Roosevelt (5-2, 1-1) visits McLane (4-3, 0-2).
Of note – Liberty-Bakersfield picked up a victory because Mission Viejo used an ineligible player during a 34-10 nonleague victory.
Central Section Top 10 football rankings
4. San Joaquin Memorial
6. Tulare Union
7. Tulare Western
8. St Joseph