High School Football

Buchanan had a primetime TV stage against state power Narbonne. Here’s what the Bears took away

Buchanan falls to Narbonne 32-7 in first game of the season

Buchanan falls to Narbonne 32-7 in first game of the season at Veteran's Memorial Stadium Saturday night, Aug. 24, 2019 in Clovis.
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Buchanan falls to Narbonne 32-7 in first game of the season at Veteran's Memorial Stadium Saturday night, Aug. 24, 2019 in Clovis.

The Buchanan High football team was on the national stage Saturday night.

And The Bee’s second-ranked Bears had a national-class player in their backfield in senior Kendall Milton.

The Georgia-bound running back made a good showing on ESPNU with 133 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries.

But visiting Narbonne-Harbor City, ranked No. 5 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports (Buchanan was No. 12) was stacked with major-college recruits on both offense and defense and pulled away to a 32-7 victory at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Clovis.

Bears coach Matt Giordano told his team afterward how “proud I was to see them play” but also saw where lessons are needed.

“There is a lot of things we can learn,” Giordano said. “There is poise, composure and details. Great teams are great at those three things. I hope we can learn from this moment and move forward on to Week 2.”

ESPNU aired the game as part of national kickoff weekend on the ESPN network.

The Bears got going on the opening drive capped by Milton’s 15-yard run.

But Narbonne responded with two scores, taking a 12-7 lead when quarterback Jake Garcia eluded Milton and found a wide-open Elijah Queen in the end zone.

Buchanan had chances to regain the lead before halftime, but missed on two field-goal tries.

Garcia got his third touchdown pass in the third quarter and Narbonne tacked on two more touchdowns while second-stringers were on the field.

Regardless, Milton saw the bright side.

“At the first snap, it showed our linemen can hang with their D-lineman,” he said. “They got all these top-ranked D-lineman, and our offensive lineman came in clutch at the first drive, and throughout the whole game and they just kept working their butts off and I’m proud of them.”

There’s no let-up next week for Buchanan when it plays No. 5 Bullard.

Clovis doesn’t look back

Isaiah Robles threw for three touchdowns and No. 6 Clovis rolled to a 49-0 victory over host Modesto.

“Proud of our level of execution,” Clovis coach Rich Hammond said. “We need to watch the film and improve our technique. I told the team after to stay focused on playing our standard of football and striving to perfect their craft.”

Cougars receiver Nathan Johnson had two receptions for 100 yards and two touchdowns.

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