Hanford High School’s quest for a third straight Central Section Division III football title got off to an explosive start Thursday at the Neighbor Bowl.
The third-seeded Bullpups scored three touchdowns of more than 50 yards while pulling away for a 36-21 quarterfinal victory over No. 6 Kingsburg. Hanford will play at No. 2 Tulare Western in the semifinals at a date to be determined.
The defending CIF State Division IV-AA champion Bullpups improved to 7-4 while winning their ninth straight playoff game over the past three seasons.
But it was Hanford’s first playoff game during the run without San Jose State-bound quarterback Ryan Johnson, The Bee’s reigning Player of the Year who suffered a season-ending knee injury during the Bullpups’ first offensive series of the year.
But the dynamic duo of running backs Jordan Perryman and Leonard Glass, and the emergence of replacement quarterback Theron Dutra have kept the Bullpups’ offense churning.
Glass scored on a 57-yard touchdown run on Hanford’s first offensive play Thursday, and Perryman caught an 82-yard scoring pass from Dutra and broke free for a 63-yard touchdown run.
“We jumped on them early,” Perryman said. “Leonard had a good run on our first play and that really set it up for the rest of the game.”
Glass rushed for 175 yards on 21 carries, while Perryman finished with 144 yards on 12 attempts. Glass has had seven touches go for 10 or more yards this season, while Perryman had six.
“Me and Jordan bring a lot of explosiveness to the team, but I promise you, we wouldn’t be doing it without the line we have,” Glass said. “They’ve been working hard every practice. I can say without them, none of this explosiveness would be happening.”
Me and Jordan bring a lot of explosiveness to the team, but I promise you, we wouldn’t be doing it without the line we have.
Hanford’s Leonard Glass on his play and the play teammate Jordan Perryman, who combined for 319 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a 36-21 win over Kingsburg
Hanford essentially sealed the win on Dutra’s second touchdown pass of the game, a 15-yarder to Chris Cano with 4:31 left that gave the Bullpups a 36-14 lead. Dutra finished with 150 passing yards.
Kingsburg (8-4) cut the deficit to 36-21 on the second of two Caleb Buendia-to-Jimmy Rawson strikes, a 9-yarder, with 2:56 left, but the Vikings would get no closer.
“I thought we played really well at times and we made some young mistakes at times, too,” Hanford coach Josh Young said. “So bottom line is we won the game, and we know what we need to work on.”
Tulare Western (8-3) advanced to the semis, getting a go-ahead 6-yard touchdown pass from Andre Aguilar to Keshon Butler with 4:23 left in the game and hanging on for a 9-7 win over No. 7 Tehachapi (6-6).
Butler also blocked a 22-yard Warriors field-goal attempt in the second quarter.
The Mustangs opened the scoring with an Isreal Dealba 20-yard field goal with 1:07 to play in the third quarter.
Tehachapi went ahead 7-3 with 9:03 remaining in the fourth on an 11-yard touchdown run by Connor Timm.