Tulare Western and Golden West highs endured damp conditions for victories Thursday night to set the stage for league titles and preferred playoff seedings entering the final week of Central Section football.
The Mustangs maneuvered into position to win the East Yosemite League championship and earn a high seed in Division III after routing Monache 48-7 at Mathias Stadium as Andre Aguilar passed for 221 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 88 yards.
Division III Tulare Western is 7-2 overall and 4-0 in the league entering a regular-season finale versus Tulare at Mathias Stadium next Thursday for the annual Victory Bell trophy.
Central Section 20th-ranked and Division II Tulare (7-1, 3-0), with a 2,104-yard, 18-touchdown passer in sophomore Nathan Allen and a 1,309-yard rusher and 27-TD scorer in junior Kazmeir Allen, plays at home against Mission Oak (3-5, 2-1) on Friday night.
The teams have met in regular-season finales with unbeaten league records three times since 2000, according to section historian Bob Barnett. Tulare won 42-7 in 2000 and Tulare Western 28-14 in 2004 and 20-17 in 2015.
David Alcantar, Keshon Butler (four receptions, 160 yards) and Josh Portillo each scored two touchdowns, and Jerimiah Smith returned a fumble 29 yards for the Mustangs’ other score against Monache (2-7, 0-4).
Golden West 32, Mt. Whitney 14 – The No. 18 Trailblazers (8-1, 4-0), pursuing their first West Yosemite League title in 15 years, had junior fullback Gonzalvo Rodriguez rush for 157 yards and two TDs and Ryan Cook run for 106 yards out of coach Paul Preheim’s wing-T in defeating the Pioneers (3-6, 2-3) at Visalia Community Stadium.
Golden West, which did not attempt a pass against Mt. Whitney, will return to the same venue on its campus to close against El Diamante next Friday.
The Miners (4-4, 2-2), coming off a 19-9 win over previously unbeaten Redwood, play Lemoore (2-6, 2-2) on Friday night. Redwood (7-1, 3-1) will finish the regular season next Friday against Mt. Whitney in the annual Cowhide rivalry game at Mineral King Bowl.
The Trailblazers, ranked second in D-IV in their 36th season, have won four league titles, according to Barnett – 1995-96 and 2001 outright and a co-championship in 2000.
Roosevelt 32, McLane 8 – Jordan Delarosa threw two touchdown passes to lead the Rough Riders (2-7, 2-2) over the Highlanders (1-8, 1-3) in the North Yosemite League.
Delarosa’s first scoring pass, a 6-yarder to Austin Pham, put Roosevelt on the board, and his second, a 28-yarder to Isaiah Jones, gave the Rough Riders a lead they would not relinquish at 12-8.
Daniel Love, Howard Maxwell III and Adam Arreguin added rushing touchdowns for Roosevelt, which will host rival Fresno in the 87th annual Pig Game next Friday at McLane Stadium.
The roundup was compiled from reports by The Bee’s Andy Boogaard and Nick Giannandrea. Coaches: To include your results and highlights, email firstname.lastname@example.org.