High School Football

Best of Week 3: Bullard gives co-coach first win, no Kendall Milton, Sanger-Clovis East aftermath

Bullard’s defense a huge role in 19-7 win over Clovis

Bullard, under co-coaches, Don Arax and Yosef Fares talk about Bullard High's 19-7 win over Clovis in Friday, Sept 6 game at Ratcliffe Stadium.
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Bullard, under co-coaches, Don Arax and Yosef Fares talk about Bullard High's 19-7 win over Clovis in Friday, Sept 6 game at Ratcliffe Stadium.

Lock up win No. 1 for Bullard High co-head coach Yosef Fares.

Bryce Weiner connected on a 65-yard touchdown pass to Shalom Welch in the third quarter and The Bee’s seventh-ranked Knights defeated No. 4 Clovis 19-7 at Ratcliffe Stadium on Friday night.

Clovis (2-1) was driving for a go-ahead touchdown at halftime before a dropped fourth-down pass stopped the Cougars at the Bullard 2-yard line, preserving the Knights’ 12-7 win.

Don Arax, who brought on Bullard grad Fares this year as a co-head coach, said he’s excited about the possibilities for their team, now 1-1. “Potentially, a really good football team. Let’s not get ahead ourselves because we have a long ways to go.”

Still, it was a nice turnaround from last week’s 28-14 loss to Buchanan.

“We made huge stops,” Arax said. “Three or four stops, third-and-1 situation, fourth down. I think that was the key. Our defense clearly won the game for us.”

Fares said, “We took some big strides from the Buchanan game to this game and this is a big win for our program.”

Without Kendall Milton, Buchanan rolls past Edison

With running back Kendall Milton, the Georgia recruit, sidelined, No. 2 Buchanan went to the air for a big play in a 17-0 victory over No. 17 Edison at Sunnyside Stadium.

D.J. Stevenson hit Brandon Hernandez on a 41-yard touchdown to highlight the win.

Milton left the Bullard game in the first quarter with a quad injury. He is considered week-to-week and will likely return at some point during the season.

Next up for Buchanan is a home date against No. 3 Liberty-Bakerfield on Thursday. The Patriots handed No. 6 Clovis West (2-1) its first loss, winning 17-7 at Lamonica Stadium.

Clovis North 3-0, first time since 2012

For the first time since 2012, Clovis North is off to a 3-0 start.

The No. 23 Broncos routed Bellarmine College Prep-San Jose 38-7 at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

In 2012, Clovis North started 8-0 under Cory Hall en route to a Central Section championship.

Clovis North will face Edison at Ratcliffe Stadium on Sept. 13.

Central doesn’t look back

Special teams and defense got top-ranked Central going.

Xavier Worthy had a 94-yard kickoff return and Dominic Mendez scooped up the ball and ran it for 16 yards in the first quarter for a 45-16 victory over Whitney-Rocklin.

The Grizzlies (3-0) host Paso Robles on Sept. 13.

Undefeated teams

Besides Central and Clovis North, seven other Fresno-area teams are 3-0: Golden West, Hanford, Kingsburg, McLane, Selma, Tulare Western and Yosemite.

Four others are 2-0: Orosi, Porterville, Redwood and Strathmore.

Streak stopper

No. 25 Redwood stopped No. 10 Tulare Union’s 29-game regular-season winning streak, building a 20-0 halftime lead en route to a 27-8 victory.

Ryan Rios threw touchdown passes of 75 yards to Sam Olson and 65 yards to Brian Brown. James Richardson rushed for two touchdowns. Hudson Walker had three sacks and a fourth-down stop to thwart a Tulare Union drive.

What happened in Clovis East/Sanger game?

Pierce Jones scored on a 1-yard run to give No. 23 Sanger a 21-14 victory over No. 9 Clovis East at Lamonica Stadium on Thursday.

After the game, Apaches players ran onto the field with an “S” flag in hand and went to the 50-yard line in an attempt to plant the flag. They were met by Clovis East players. Pushing and shoving ensued but no punches were thrown.

In 2018, Clovis East won 14-8 at Sanger. According to multiple reports, Timberwolves players ran onto the field and placed a flag at the 50-yard line.

The Clovis and Sanger school districts released statements:

Clovis Unified: “The safety of our student athletes is always a top priority, along with the safety of anyone in attendance at district events. The disruption that erupted at the conclusion of last night’s Clovis East vs. Sanger game is very discouraging because it jeopardized both of those priorities. Athletics are a great venue to teach kids the sometimes difficult lessons of how to lose and how to win with both dignity and sportsmanship. In our district, we are investigating the incident to identify any students from our school who may have violated school rules, and who would therefore face possible disciplinary consequences that can range from a direct conversation, to suspension from the team or even from school if the facts are found to warrant it. We are also working closely with Sanger Unified administration to ensure incidents such as this are avoided in the future. We value our relationship with Sanger Unified School District and want this positive and competitive relationship to continue in an environment of safety and good sportsmanship. An ‘official’ officials report was submitted to both schools regarding the incident. Be assured, the behavior last night is unacceptable to us, and we will take every avenue available to reiterate our standards for behavior and sportsmanship with our students and teams against whom we compete in the future.”

Sanger Unified: “The incident that occurred at the conclusion of last night’s game was unfortunate, and is being reviewed by site staff. We are working closely with Clovis Unified School District to ensure such incidents are avoided in the future as the safety of all students, and anyone attending any district event remains a top priority.”

No. 22 Sanger defeats No. 9 Clovis East 21-14 at Lamonica Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. A postgame scuffle ensued after the game.

Anthony Galaviz: 559-441-6042, agalaviz_TheBee

Harry Kargenian contributed to this report

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Anthony Galaviz writes about sports for The Fresno Bee. He covers the Oakland Raiders, high schools, boxing, MMA and junior colleges. He’s been with The Bee since 1997 and attended Fresno City College before graduating from Fresno State with a major in journalism and a minor in criminology.