Selma and Mendota high schools play Friday in the CIF football regionals, the first of four central San Joaquin Valley teams looking to advance this weekend to the state championships.
On Saturday, Sanger hosts Serra-San Mateo in the North 2-A bowl while Strathmore is home against Horizon Christian Academy-San Diego in the South 6-A game.
Full recaps after all games will be available at www.fresnobee.com/sports.
Here’s the latest on Friday’s games:
Bakersfield Christian 28, Selma 27, FINAL
Junior Ramirez threw 44 yards to Joel Aranda on third-and-10 in the closing minute as Selma clawed back within a point, only to see that same pair fail to connect on a 2-point conversion pass as Bakersfield Christian held on in an all-Central Section matchup in the South 4-AA game at Selma.
Braden Wingle, bouncing back from a dismal start, threw a pair of touchdown passes coming out of halftime and a defensive score extended the run to 21 straight points as Bakersfield Christian rallied into a 28-21 lead.
After taking a 14-point advantage into halftime, Selma saw the Eagles quickly strike back to begin the third quarter on Wingle’s 78-yard TD pass to Alex Wallace. It was that same tandem again with 5:05 left in the third, this one a 16-yard jump ball won by Wallace to force the tie.
Stephen Figures’ 77-yard return of a Rudy Rodriguez pass on a faked field goal gave Bakersfield Christian its first lead with 8:55 to play in the game.
Tiveon Stroud’s 29-yard touchdown run had put Selma (13-1) on the board first at 10:02 of the first quarter, its opening possession of the game.
But the Wingle-to-Wallace connection helped ease the pain of an awful half for Bakersfield Christian and its 4,000-yard passer. Wingle began 0 for 7 and was 1 for 10 through two quarters. The 78-yarder to Wallace moved him past ex-Eagles and Fresno State standout and future Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr for third on the Central Section single-season yardage list.
After a Bakersfield Christian fumble on its first offensive play of the game, recovered by Chris Romero, the Bears went to the air to stretch their lead. Ramirez’s 14-yard pass to Aranda to the back of the end zone made it 14-0 with 7:57 to go in the first.
The Eagles responded with 11:23 remaining in the half. Brock Holloway ran in from 5 yards out after Wingle scrambled for 11 on a third-and-11 (Bakersfield Christian’s first first down) and Stephen Figures ran 45 yards.
Selma answered with a little help. Bakersfield Christian tried a fake punt, only to turn the ball over to the Bears at their 46. Ramirez conveted a fourth-and-3 on an option run from the 32, and on the last of his four straight carries Jordan Dominguez went the final 6 yards to make it 21-7 with 3:29 to go until halftime.
Bakersfield Christian (13-1) will host North champ Campolindo-Moraga (11-3) at 6 p.m. Dec. 17. Campolindo beat Palma-Salinas 30-21.
Follow along with The Bee’s Andy Boogaard on Twitter @beepreps.
Amador-Sutter Creek 21, Mendota 14, FINAL
Daylan Thetford ran for a pair of touchdowns, the first one a 75-yard breakaway with 5:12 to play in the first quarter, as the Buffaloes (14-1) advanced to the state 6-AA final.
Thetford’s run came after the Aztecs (13-1) opened with a drive into the red zone, only to miss a field goal in the game played at Calaveras High.
The lead grew to 14-0 on Tyler McCoey’s 19-yard reception of an Anthony Burns pass with 6:01 left in the half. After a scoreless third quarter, Thetford’s 1-yard run made it 21-0 with 5:12 remaining in the game.
Mendota scored a pair of touchdowns in a 2-minute stretch – via Mikey Medina’s 2-yard run and Junior Contreras’ 4-yard pass to Julian Cardenas – but Amador recovered an onside kick to all but ice it with 2:16 to play.
Amador faces South 6-AA champ Rancho Christian-Temecula (13-2), which beat Franklin-Los Angeles 56-21, at 6 p.m. Dec. 17.