It's another Kendall Milton show as Buchanan High tops Liberty
The Buchanan High football team will host perennial national and state power De La Salle-Concord on Sept. 21 at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Clovis.
The matchup came about after De La Salle's planned trip to East-Salt Lake City fell through.
Buchanan and De La Salle then agreed to a home-and-home series. The Bears will travel to Concord in 2019.
To make room on this year's Buchanan schedule, Tulare Union OK’d dropping off.
“Unbelievable opportunity for our kids, our school and our program,” Buchanan coach Matt Giordano said. He credited principal Joe Aiello and athletic director James Gambrell for making the matchup happen and thanked Tulare Union for being flexible.
The Bears will try to become the second Central Section team to defeat De La Salle since Clovis West beat the Spartans 7-0 in 2005 at Veterans Memorial Stadium, scene of this year's Buchanan-De La Salle matchup. Clovis West also knocked off De La Salle 30-12 in 2004, ending the Spartans' streak of defeating 149 consecutive California opponents and winning 86 in a row at home.
De La Salle didn't play another Central Section opponent until last season, when Central traveled to De La Salle and fell 49-30. The teams were scheduled to meet at Central's Deran Koligian Stadium this upcoming season in Week 5, but De La Salle wanted to play in Week 6 instead and Central turned that down.
The Grizzlies' nonleague schedule consists of Edison, Grant-Sacramento, Whitney-Rocklin, Paso Robles and Turlock.
De La Salle is coming of an 11-2 record in 2017 when it lost to Mater Dei-Santa Ana 52-21 in the state Open Division title game.
Giordano said the Spartans will be a good test for his team, which finished last season 10-3 and lost in the Central Section Division I championship to Central 29-7. The Bears' roster includes running back Kendall Milton, one of the most sought-after juniors in the nation.
“We want to make sure we have a competitive schedule,” he said. “Our coaching staff and players and our school wants our program to be very competitive in state, and the only we can do that and be considered is by playing competitive schools week in and week out.”