Sanger High flexed its muscle early and often Friday night, while Bullard needed overtime to pick up another win.
Sanger, ranked No. 17 in The Bee’s Central Section high school football Top 25, rolled to a 42-14 victory against Paso Robles at Tom Flores Stadium to enter County/Metro Athletic Conference play with much momentum.
Third-ranked Bullard survived a tough one on the coast and pulled out a 28-21 victory in overtime at Arroyo Grande.
If nonleague results are an indication, the CMAC season could be highly competitive once again.
Heading into CMAC openers next week, five of the six CMAC teams have winning records.
There’s already quite the showdown to start conference: No. 11 San Joaquin Memorial (4-1) will face Bullard (4-1) at Ratcliffe Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4.
Other matchups include Sanger (4-1) visiting Madera (3-2) and Edison (1-4) facing Madera South (3-2) at Sunnyside Stadium.
Memorial is the defending CMAC champion.
South Valley showdowns
With 10 of the Top 25 teams on a bye – including top-ranked Central and all of the Clovis Unified schools – the Week 6 slate of game might have lacked the usual punch.
But not in the South Valley.
Senior Taryn Rubalcava had 185 receiving yards and two touchdowns to power No. 15 Hanford in a 36-28 win against No. 16 Tulare Western from Thursday’s action.
The Bullpups (5-0), the defending West Yosemite League champs, have outscored their opponents a combined 253-73 on the season.
No. 10 Redwood (5-0) beat No. 21 Porterville 34-17 in another South Valley matchup of ranked teams. The Rangers closed out the game with 21 unanswered points to rally from a 14-13 halftime deficit.
Seniors Brian Brown and Diamond Davis each had two touchdowns for Redwood.
If you’re circling a date on the WYL schedule, it’s Oct. 17: Redwood at Hanford.
Freshman does it for Kerman
Kerman’s Joseph Ramirez got good news this week, informed he was moving up to varsity.
And the freshman immediately delivered, snagging a late-game interception that sealed Kerman’s 16-8 victory over Roosevelt at Sunnyside Stadium.
“We were struggling a little bit lately, especially in the secondary,” said coach Tim Hurt, whose Lions moved to 2-4. “He’s been one kid that’s been a bright spot on the JVs.
“I don’t really care about age. If you’re a player, you’re a player. We brought him up and he’s been one hell of a player for us all week.”
Ramirez said he read the quarterback from the beginning of the critical play.
“Just played my deep coverage and I caught it and I froze,” he said. “I didn’t know what was happening and I picked it and I just ran.”
Fresno High Wall of Champions
The 13th annual Fresno High Wall of Champions Dinner is Wednesday, Oct. 9 at Pardini’s in Fresno. Tickets are $65.
This year’s inductees are Karen Ledee, Class of 1980, senior leader on the 23-2 North Yosemite League girls basketball championship team; Bob Guzzo, ‘59, football running back and Bee co-Player of the Year; Clark Bridgman, ‘59, baseball and basketball; Ross Cariaga, ‘58, football and wrestling; Chuck Smith, ‘58, baseball and basketball; Joel Cegielski, ‘57, track sprinter; and Lyman Ehrlich, ‘49, football. Two others will be honored: Jeanne Contel, a school administrator for 26 years; and Jack Fowler, Class of 1952 and chairman of the Alumni Association since 2001.