High School Football

Sanger trifecta: Perfect regular season, league title, milestone win for coach

Sanger beat Memorial on Friday night to give coach Chuck Shidan his 200th career victory.
Sanger beat Memorial on Friday night to give coach Chuck Shidan his 200th career victory. THE FRESNO BEE

Arron Mosby and Christian Graney had interception returns for touchdowns of 90 and 80 yards, and Sanger came out firing Friday night in a 56-21 win against Memorial that capped an undefeated season and outright County/Metro Athletic Conference title.

Graney’s pick-six saw 27-year Apaches coach Chuck Shidan leaping for joy along the sideline, as Sanger (10-0, 5-0) bolted to a 42-0 lead in the second half en route to the coach’s 200th victory.

“It’s been a great year,” said Shidan, whose overall record is 200-110.

Each of his assistant coaches hugged him as the final seconds ran off the clock.

Sanger is likely the top seed for the Division II section playoffs. Seeds and matchups were announced Saturday.

He’s the best coach in the Valley, in my opinion.

Sanger assistant coach Nikko Motta, on Chuck Shidan

“We needed a 10-0 record for a good seed, and, you know – league champs” Shidan said before players whisked him away in celebration.

The Apaches broke the game open on Jalen Cropper’s 75-yard punt return for a touchdown for a 21-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

Andrew Azua scored on runs of 4 and 55 yards and Cropper added a 39-yard keeper TD out of the wildcat. Senior quarterback Jacob Tijerina had touchdown passes of 22 yards to Graney and 50 yards to Ricky Moreno.

Memorial (5-5, 2-3) broke through in the third quarter on a 32-yard TD pass from Alec Trujillo to Max Coyle.

“Oh man, it means everything for us,” said Sanger assistant Nikko Motta, a former Apaches lineman who later starred at Fresno State.

“We knew what was at stake. We all came out here for coach Shidan. He wanted this. He’s the man. ... He’s the best coach in the Valley, in my opinion, and it shows right here.”

Angel Moreno: 559-441-6401, @anhelllll

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