San Joaquin Memorial High put an emphatic stamp on its undefeated season Friday night with a 48-7 victory over visiting Bakersfield Christian for the Panthers’ second straight Central Section Division III football championship.
Memorial (13-0) averaged nearly 58 points a game in winning its three playoff games. Now the Panthers await their destination in the regional finals, this weekend (Dec. 2) in the Northern California playoffs, delayed a week because of complications from the Camp Fire and smoke.
Bakersfield Christian (9-4), the No. 2 seed, scored first but then the Panthers took control on the strength of solid defense, a dynamic rushing attack and poised quarterback play from senior Alec Trujillo.
“It’s just amazing. But it was just our second goal of the season,” Trujillo said. “We had three main goals. Our first was league, our second was Valley and our final one was State.”
Trujillo was masterful passing from the pocket. The senior threw for 160 yards and four touchdowns, including a 31-yard strike to junior Mac Dalena and a 23-yarder to senior Josh Kelly.
Kelly scored three times including the last TD on a 40-yard interception return.
Panthers senior running back Leonard Glass had 23 carries for 163 yards and a 1-yard rumble into the end zone.
“It feels so good., just to know the expectation we had” to repeat after beating top-seeded Tulare Western for last year’s title, coach Anthony Goston said. “We were able to grind all season and go undefeated. It makes it that much more special.”