The Bee’s top-ranked Central High football team had its way to start the season, outscoring four opponents 186-12.
Bullard, Sunnyside, Liberty-Bakersfield and Ridgeview found out how good the Grizzlies are.
Now Central steps into another class when it plays nationally ranked De La Salle at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Concord.
Grizzlies coach Kyle Biggs calls it a “great opportunity” against an elite team.
Just playing this game makes us a better football team and prepares us for playoff football,” Biggs said.
The Spartans, No. 25 in the MaxPreps Xcellent Top 25 national rankings, lost to No. 11 Bishop Gorman-Nevada 34-7 last weekend.
De La Salle (3-1) started the season with wins against Amador Valley-Pleasanton (42-7), St. John’s-Washington, D.C. (35-31) and Saint Francis-Mountain View (31-7).
Biggs says the Bishop Gorman thumping takes nothing away from the Spartans’ prowess: “They do everything right. They are fundamentally sound, they play hard and are relentless to the football. They get off the ball like none I’ve ever seen before.”
Central is gunning to become the second team from the Central Section to defeat De La Salle on its home field, according to records kept by Central Section historian Bob Barnett.
Clovis West defeated the Spartans 30-12 on Sept. 11, 2004. That ended a state-record 75-game home winning streak and came a week after Bellevue (Wash.) stopped De La Salle’s national-record 151-game win streak. The Spartans haven’t missed many beats since, winning seven state bowl championships and reaching the state open division final last season.
Games to watch
No. 9 Memorial at Sunnyside – Memorial remains unbeaten at (4-0) after defeating Garces 49-42 in the Holy Bowl.
Sunnyside has won two straight after opening losses to Clovis North and Central.
Memorial is led by junior quarterback Alec Trujillo who completed 17 of 24 for 329 yards and three touchdowns against Garces. He has 1,304 passing yards and 17 touchdowns against four interceptions for the season.
No. 3 Clovis West vs. Bullard (Ratcliffe Stadium) – Clovis West is on a roll after a one-point loss at Liberty-Bakersfield to open the season, beating Edison 30-9 and Rocklin 42-12.
Bullard (1-3) started the year facing a gantlet of ranked teams (Central, Buchanan, Clovis) before beating Centennial 34-25 last week. Knights running back Marcus Fulcher led the way with 36 carries for 177 yards and three touchdowns.
Roosevelt at Selma – An intriguing early matchup of Division IV teams. Selma (4-0) has rolled in its last two games after close games against Kerman and Washington to start the season. Quarterback Junior Ramirez has five touchdowns passing and four rushing.
Roosevelt (3-1) beat Washington 18-15 last week with Howard Maxwell rolling up 101 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries before sitting out much of the second half.
In the latest Bee coaches’ Top 10, Buchanan moved to No. 2 ahead of defending Division I champion Bakersfield after defeating Liberty-Bakersfied 34-28. The Bears, who are idle this week, built a 28-7 lead and never looked back.
Clovis West moves up one spot to No. 3. No. 10 Tulare Western makes its debut in the rankings after defeating Redwood 14-7.
Bakersfield tumbled after a 43-14 loss to Chaminade-West Hills, ranked No. 4 in the state by MaxPreps. This week, Bakersfield’s challenge is a date at No. 16 Valencia.
The seven-team West Yosemite League is set to begin play Friday. Redwood and Golden West were co-WYL champions in 2016.
Barnett, the section historian, notes three school records set Sept. 15 by Hanford West sophomore quarterback Ethan Natera in a 55-18 victory over Sierra Pacific: passing yards (449), completions (29) and touchdowns (five).
He also had 51 yards rushing.
Sanger coach Jorge Pena said junior Jalen Cropper is OK after suffering an ankle injury in a 40-38 double-overtime win at Lemoore. The Apaches have a bye this week. … Golden West senior running back Gonzalo Rodriguez had 25 carries for 230 yards and scored three times in a 61-0 rout of Madera South. … Strathmore senior running back Joseph Garcia ran 12 times for 286 yards and four TDs (one for 88 yards) in a 35-13 victory over Orosi. He is averaging 17.5 yards per carry for the season.
The Bee’s coaches’ Top 10 poll
First-place votes in parentheses
1. Central (9)
3. Clovis West
4. Bakersfield (1)
10. Tulare Western
All games at 7:30 p.m., unless noted
Washington at Hoover, 7 p.m. (McLane)
Frontier at Mission Oak (Mathias Stadium)
North at Monache (Granite Hills)
WEST YOSEMITE LEAGUE
Hanford West at Hanford, 7 p.m.
El Diamante at Mt. Whitney (Mineral King Bowl)
Redwood at Lemoore
SOUTH SEQUOIA LEAGUE
Arvin at Taft
Wasco at Bakersfield Christian
Shafter at Kennedy
Paso Robles at Clovis North (Buchanan), 7 p.m.
Memorial at Sunnyside, 7 p.m.
Clovis East at Foothill-Palo Cedro, 7 p.m.
Kerman at McLane, 7 p.m.
Kingsburg at Reedley, 7 p.m.
Minarets at Yosemite, 7 p.m.
Madera at Atascadero, 7 p.m.
Mammoth at Fresno Christian, 7 p.m.
Corcoran at Liberty-Madera Ranchos, 7 p.m.
Avenal at Farmersville, 7 p.m.
Chowchilla at Dos Palos, 7 p.m.
Frazier Mountain at Laton, 7 p.m.
Alpaugh at Cuyama Valley, 7 p.m.
Kings Christian at Coast, 7 p.m.
Bakersfield at Valencia, 7 p.m.
California City at Mira Monte, 7 p.m.
Tehachapi at Paraclete-Lancaster, 7 p.m.
Desert Christian at Desert, 7 p.m.
Silver Valley-Yermo at Bishop, 7 p.m.
McFarland at Morro Bay, 7 p.m.
Chavez at CVC, 7:15 p.m.
Kern Valley at Granite Hills, 7:15 p.m.
Woodlake at Orosi, 7:15 p.m.
Clovis West at Bullard (Ratcliffe Stadium)
Fresno at Madera South
Roosevelt at Selma
Edison at Garces
Clovis at Centennial
South at Tulare Western (Mathias Stadium)
Exeter at Golden West
Tulare at Independence
Caruthers at Firebaugh
Lindsay at Fowler
Modesto Christian at Immanuel
Parlier at Sierra
Porterville at Dinuba
Strathmore at Orange Cove
Foothill at Delano
Liberty-Bakersfield at Ridgeview
Golden Valley at Highland
West at Stockdale
Trona at Avalon, 5:05 p.m.
Polytechnic-Pasadena at Rosamond, 8 p.m.
Maricopa at Riverdale Christian, 1 p.m.
Central at De La Salle-Concord