In a matchup of unbeaten teams, top-seeded Caruthers High beat Yosemite 39-24 Friday night to roll into the Central Section Division V championship game.
The Blue Raiders get a rematch with Firebaugh, which went on the road Friday to beat Shafter 35-23. The championship game is Dec. 1 in Caruthers.
The Caruthers-Yosemite outcome turned at the end of the first half.
First, Caruthers stopped Yosemite at the 1-yard line with 2:03 left, denying the Badgers a go-ahead touchdown.
Then the Blue Raiders drove 99 yards in 59 seconds aided by two Yosemite personal fouls. Jared Gilmore connected with Renaldo Delgado from 23 yards for the TD that made it 21-10.
Caruthers’ Chris Puga got an interception and return to the Badgers 33 with 24 seconds left, and Gilmore connected with Delgado again (this time from 9 yards) plus a 2-point conversion by Isaac Franco made it 29-10 with 5 seconds left.
Imanol Arredondo had two TDs (one on a 67-yard run) and a big defensive stop for Caruthers (11-0). Yosemite (9-1) competed as an independent and took three bye weeks – a combination of games canceled because of wildfires and scheduling. The Badgers return to the North Sequoia League schedule next season.
The D-V final is a rematch of a Sept. 22 game when Caruthers beat Firebaugh 42-7.