There would be no shared football championship in the County/Metro Athletic Conference.
San Joaquin Memorial High made sure of it.
Despite falling behind by a touchdown early in the second quarter then getting into a fight with Apaches players with 1:15 left before halftime, the Panthers regrouped and pulled out a 31-28 victory at Tom Flores Stadium.
Jordan Hornbeak was a force for Memorial with 28 carries for 158 yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Finn Collins added 201 yards and a touchdown on 16-of-21 passing. For Sanger, Kosi Agina carried 19 times for 178 yards including an 82-yard scoring run.
Memorial (9-1, 5-0 CMAC), No. 6 in The Fresno Bee’s Central Section rankings, was seeded second in the Central Section Division II playoffs behind No. 7 Hanford (10-0). Both teams beat Sanger; Memorial has won nine straight since a season-opening loss to D-III Kingsburg.
Sanger (7-3, 3-2) needed to beat Memorial to capture a share of the CMAC crown. Still, the Apaches earned a No. 4 playoff seed behind No. 3 playoff seed Redwood.
Sanger played the entire second half without starting quarterback Noel Collazo after he suffered an injury in the second quarter.
Hanford survives own scare
Hanford, by the way, trailed by 14 points at halftime against Lemoore in the 76th Milk Can game.
Hanford quarterback Juaron Watts-Brown, committed to play baseball next year at Texas Tech, suffered a right shoulder injury near the end of the third quarter and never returned.
Nonetheless, the Bullpups stormed back for a 43-36 win for their first undefeated regular season since 1974.
Taryn Rubalcava scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 2-yard run early in the fourth and the Bullpups defense kept the Tigers scoreless throughout the final quarter.
A season of turmoil for Edison
Edison’s rough season came to an end with a 32-6 loss to No. 4 Bullard.
The Knights (8-2) built a 20-point lead before the Tigers scored.
Earlier this week, the CIF Central Section office forced Edison to forfeit all three of its victories for using an ineligible player.
So in a season in which Edison changed coaches with the termination of Atnaf Harris midyear, the Tigers officially finished 0-10 overall.
Top-ranked Central finished undefeated in Tri-River Athletic Conference play for the fourth straight season after downing Clovis East 42-7 on Friday. The Grizzlies have won 21 straight TRAC games.
Central (10-0, 5-0) ended up outscoring TRAC competition a combined 252-76, which meant an average dominating score of 50-15.
The Grizzlies are the only undefeated team in Division I and locked up the top seed and home games at Koligian Stadium. All four top seeds in D-I have a first-round bye.
No. 17 Clovis East (4-6, 1-4) is the No. 10 playoff seed and opens at Bakersfield.
No. 3 Buchanan (8-2, 4-1) will enter the postseason on a four-game winning streak after beating Clovis North 45-21.
Bears running back Kendall Milton needed just six carries to finish with 131 rushing yards, including a 42-yard score.
Buchanan got a second win during the week when Narbonne-Harbor City was forced to forfeit its season (including an opening 32-7 win at Buchanan) for using ineligible players.
Saturday, the Bears got better news when they were awarded the No. 2 playoff seed over second-ranked Liberty-Bakersfield.
Clovis North (6-4, 1-4) surrendered 21 points in the first quarter and trailed 38-7 by halftime. The Broncos have a first-round playoff date against Clovis West.
At Lamonica Stadium, Clovis rallied for a 27-23 win against Clovis West thanks to a Tristan Risley 6-yard touchdown run with roughly 4 minutes remaining. That locked up the No. 5 playoff seed for the ninth-ranked Cougars (6-4, 3-2) and a first-round date at home against Arroyo Grande.
Clovis West (3-7, 1-4) suffered its fourth straight loss.
The Golden Eagles, who are in their first year under coach Tim Randall, finished with a losing record for a second straight season. Clovis West was 2-9 last season under George Petrissans.
The Cougars win back the Range Rider Trophy but still trail the series all-time at 26-22.
Kingsburg beats Selma in showdown
No. 5 Kingsburg and No. 25 Selma played in one of the highest-stakes games ever in the 97-year history of their rivalry.
Kingsburg came in undefeated. Selma had lost just one game. And neither had lost in Central Sequoia League play.
Selma, the host team in the game at Reedley High because its Staley Stadium is under renovation, missed an extra point that would’ve tied the game late in the third quarter.
Then the Vikings scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter — an Alfred Carpenter 10-yard run and an interception returned for a touchdown – en route to a 43-27 victory.
Kingsburg is the top seed in D-III. Selma is No. 2 in D-IV behind top-seeded Washington Union.
Washington Union on 8-game win streak
Washington Union won its eight straight overall, including 4-0 in the North Sequoia League with a 48-14 victory over Kerman.
Darious McCray and Tory Horton each scored two touchdowns and Jayden Green, who shares quarterback duties with Lawrence Stell, had three touchdown passes.
The Panthers’ only loss was 20-14 to Kingsburg, a game Washington Union led until the Vikings scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns. And the Panthers followed that up by beating 9-1 Dos Palos 32-6 and 8-2 Selma 42-32.
Caruthers keeps rolling
Caruthers finished its third straight unbeaten West Sequoia League season with a 58-8 route of Fowler. The Blue Raiders have won 16 straight in the WSL streak. Bobby Staley rushed for 158 yards and four touchdowns and quarterback Trenton Babb had two passing TDs and a scoring run.
Caruthers (9-1) is the top seed in D-V.
Anthony Galaviz: 559-441-6042, agalaviz_TheBee