Michael Alvarez picked up the slack in a Central Section Division II football playoff opener that saw limited participation from two of its marquee attractions.
The sophomore quarterback passed for three touchdowns and rushed for another while leading fifth-seeded Memorial High to a 42-35 victory over No. 12 Porterville on Friday.
The Panthers advance to face County/Metro Athletic Conference rival and fourth-seeded Sanger in next Friday’s quarterfinals. The Apaches’ closed the regular season Nov. 7 with a 24-7 win over Memorial.
Alvarez’s 1-yard touchdown run put the Panthers ahead to stay at 35-28 in the fourth quarter.
He also threw touchdown passes of 15 yards to Frank Dalena, 37 yards to Joey Ruiz and 57 yards to Chris Paz.
Alvarez, who passed for 269 yards and rushed for 96, took on a lead role with Stevan Johnson, a 40-touchdown career scorer in three varsity seasons, limited to 11 yards on two carries. Johnson did not start, with Panthers coach Anthony Goston saying only that it wasn’t because of injury.
Porterville was without 2,000-yard rusher Isaiah Jones, who was serving a one-game suspension after being ejected from last week’s 49-31 win over rival Monache.
Daniel Ali stepped into the feature back role and rushed for 175 yards and three touchdowns.
•Kingsburg 60, Independence 40:
Josh Sierra passed for 332 yards, rushed for 90 and accounted for four touchdowns as the No. 11 Vikings upset the No. 6 Falcons in Bakersfield.
Sierra threw touchdown passes of 21 yards to Emmett Brooks and 25 yards to Seth Brooks, and scored on runs of 20 and 1 yard.
Seth Brooks had 177 yards rushing, 52 yard receiving and four total touchdowns. Emmett Brooks had six catches for 162 yards and also returned an interception 34 yards for a score.
The Vikings will play at Central Sequoia League rival and No. 3 seed Dinuba in the quarterfinals. The Emperors won their first meeting 34-21 on Oct. 17.
•Tulare 55, Sunnyside 18:
Romello Harris rushed for more than 200 yards for the fourth straight week and sixth time overall this season while leading the eighth-seeded Redskins over the No. 9 Wildcats.
Tulare was clinging to a 21-18 lead when Harris score the first of four straight touchdowns, on a 57-yard run, to put some distance on the Wildcats.
Harris would go on to score on runs of 1, 51 and 6 yards, part of a 27-carry, 230-yard performance while pushing his season totals to 2,517 yards and 30 rushing touchdowns.
Tulare next plays at No. 1 Ridgeview, which had an opening-round bye.
Malcolm Williams rushed for 224 yards and two touchdowns to lead Sunnyside.
•Redwood 35, Tehachapi 21:
Jeremiah Johnson scored three touchdowns while leading the No. 7 Rangers over the No. 10 Warriors.
Johnson’s last score, a 59-yard run in the third quarter, gave Redwood a 28-7 lead. Adam Vance capped the scoring for the Rangers with a 1-yard quarterback keeper with 3:21 remaining in the game.
Redwood gets a second shot at West Yosemite League rival and second-seeded Lemoore in the quarterfinals. The Tigers beat the Rangers 28-14 on Sept. 26, part of an undefeated regular season for Lemoore, which had a first-round playoff bye.
•Fresno 20, Golden Valley-Bakersfield 14:
Nyric Hinton scored his second touchdown with 11:17 left in the game for the go-ahead points as the ninth-seeded Warriors edged the No. 8 Bulldogs in Bakersfield.
Hinton’s first score of the night gave Fresno a 14-7 lead in the second quarter. Golden Valley would tie it before halftime.
The Warriors advance to face top-seeded Hanford in the quarterfinals.
•Roosevelt 47, McLane 12:
Willie Fairman and Terrik Perry each contributed more than 200 yards and combined for four touchdowns to the No. 6 Rough Riders’ victory over the No. 11 Highlanders.
Fairman had 234 all-purpose yards, highlighted by a 90-yard kickoff return that closed the scoring in the fourth quarter. He also scored on runs of 4 and 12 yards while rushing for 136 yards and caught two passes for 76 yards.
Perry rushed for 217 yards on 19 carries, including a 5-yard touchdown that gave Roosevelt a 20-0 lead in the second quarter.
The Rough Riders advance to face third-seeded Cesar Chavez, which is coached by Casey Quinn, who led Roosevelt to a 6-6 record and a playoff win last season.
•Kerman 45, Exeter 8:
The No. 8 Lions rolled over the No. 9 Monarchs behind the 217-yard, 28-carry, three-touchdown performance of Andrew Flores.
Flores scored on runs of 2, 83 and 2 yards as Kerman, which advances to face top-seeded Liberty-Madera Ranchos in the quarterfinals, jumped out to a 28-8 halftime lead.
Evan Sagariballa tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Smith to cap a 17-point fourth quarter for the Lions.
Sagariballa finished with 196 yards passing and two touchdowns to Smith, who caught six passes for 148 yards while also contributing an interception and fumble recovery on defense.
•Madera South 49, Coalinga 34:
The No. 10 Stallions took control of the game by outscoring the No. 7 Horned Toads 21-0 in the second quarter. Madera South travels to Visalia next week to face No. 2 Central Valley Christian.
•Mendota 24, Orosi 0:
Junior Cardenas and Luis Mojarro connected on touchdown passes of 55 and 50 yards to spark the No. 4 Aztecs past the No. 13 Cardinals.
Mendota, the D-V runner-up last season to Liberty-Madera Ranchos, also got a 1-yard touchdown run from Raul Rangel and a 22-yard field goal from Ruben Rivas.
The Aztecs will host No. 5 Sierra in the quarterfinals.
•Sierra 27, Woodlake 16:
The fifth-seeded Chieftains had four interceptions and six sacks while building a 27-0 lead against the No. 12 Tigers.
Sierra scored on Mike Waters’ 3-yard pass from Brent Smith on fourth down right before halftime, then cashed in a Woodlake fumble early in the third quarter with a 45-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Waters on the next play to take control.
Smith also threw a 45-yard score to David Kemp as part of a 7-of-10, 123-yard night.
Eric Schwarz passed for 203 yards and a touchdown for Woodlake.
•Fowler 38, Firebaugh 7:
Matt Kahaian rushed for three touchdowns and passed for two more to lead the seventh-seeded Redcats over the No. 10 Eagles.
Kahaian opened the scoring with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Victorio Jimenez in the first quarter, then scored on runs of 7 and 1 yard in the second quarter to send Fowler on its way to the quarterfinals, where, per section rules, it hosts No. 2 Kern Valley.
Kahaian, who passed for 238 yards and rushed for 37, also threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Valle in the third quarter and scored on a 1-yard run in the fourth.
•Caruthers 13, Dos Palos 6:
Elijah Clark threw touchdown passes of 10 and 51 yards to Christian Perez to lift the sixth-seeded Blue Raiders over the No. 11 Broncos.
Caruthers will play at No. 3 Immanuel in the quarterfinals.
Ozzie Suarez, who rushed for 124 yards and passed for 112, scored on a 10-yard run in the fourth quarter for Dos Palos, but that’s as close as it would come.
•Corcoran 33, Bishop 21:
Da’Shaun Henderson scored the final touchdown as the No. 8 Panthers topped the No. 9 Broncos and advanced to a quarterfinal matchup against top-seeded Farmersville.
•Kings Christian 57, Fresno Christian 56:
The Crusaders scored 42 points in the second half for the Central Section 8-man championship.
The Crusaders wrapped up their third title in four seasons, completing an 11-0 season with their 18th consecutive victory.
Kings Christian earned the home championship game in Lemoore by virtue of a 37-28 regular-season win at Fresno Christian. Kings Christian led 37-13 in that one.
It was a different story Friday. The visiting Eagles led 43-15 at halftime before the Crusaders came on, tying it at 43-43 and again at 50-50 before getting the winning extra point on the last exchange of touchdowns.
State-ranked teams from Madera South, Buchanan and Clovis North dominated league meets.
• Madera South’s boys, ranked fourth in the state bywww.DyeStatCal.com
a year after placing second in the state D-I and winning the section, went 1-2-3 behind Eduardo Herrera (16:27), Juan Macias (16:30) and Christian Nevaraz (16:34) to capture the Countyt/Metro Athletic Conference title at Woodward Park’s 5k course with 16 points — one off a perfect score.
Herrera, a junior who was The Bee’s Runner of the Year last season, is ranked ninth in the state by DyeStat.
Madera, behind Jasmine Gonzalez’s winning 19:00, edged Madera South 42-44 for the CMAC girls championship.
• Buchanan’s girls, ranked ninth in the state, had Hannah Benoit-Bucher (17:57.4) and Josie Fry (18:35.8) place first and third to run away from the Tri-River Athletic Conference field with 22 points at Woodward. Clovis North, behind Lauren Mofffett’s runner-up 18:02.9, finished second with 48 points.
Clovis North, ranked 16th in the state, went 1-2-3 with Psalm Ocampo (15:36.7), Chris Goertzen (15:53) and Myles Delgado (16:01), to beat state No. 29 Clovis, 26-42, for the TRAC boys crown.
The section finals are Thursday at Woodward, setting up the state championships at the same venue Nov. 29.
Additional college signings
Hanford West’s Dagmar Gudmundsson, a five-time All-Bee selection between water polo and swimming, will sign her national letter of intent to play water polo at USC during a ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday inside the school’s cafeteria.
She will be one of four Huskies to make the commitments, joining Makenna Young (Cal Poly/softball), Kristen Heffley (San Francisco State/softball) and Leo Carillo (Fresno Pacific/baseball).
Other athletes from the Central Section who were committing during the early signing period include Clovis West’s Landynn Munster (Fresno Pacific/women’s basketball) and Kings Christian’s Nico Hudson (Long Beach State/track and field).