High School Football

They played for the bronze pig in the ‘Little Big Game’ and one team had playoffs on mind

Fresno High and Roosevelt were both playing for Poncho the bronze pig in the 90th Little Big Game on Friday night.

But Roosevelt was playing for a spot in the Central Section Division III playoffs, too, and it showed.

Daijon Giddens scored five touchdowns, helping the Rough Riders defeat the Warriors 49-14 in the rivalry game at Sunnyside Stadium.

“In these types of games you kind of throw the records out the window,” Roosevelt coach Vince Branstetter said. “Neither of us have played to the type of season we would have liked. I told them we have to play football and do our job and we did that tonight.”

The Little Big Game was coined after the Stanford-Cal Big Game; the pig trophy was introduced in 1946. Roosevelt won last season’s matchup 36-20. Fresno leads the series 45-43-2, according to Central Section historian Bob Barnett.

Giddens understands the significance of the game.

“There is a a lot of history,” he said. “It’s a very important rivalry game. You never know how rivalry games can go. It can go either way.”

Roosevelt got to 3-2 in the North Yosemite League, good for third place, and 4-6 overall. FHS finished 1-4 and 1-9.

Other rivalry games

Battle of the Bell – Strathmore and Lindsay played in the 96th Battle of the Bell. Lindsay won 10-7, denying Strathmore an undefeated regular season.

Bell Game – Tulare Union and Tulare Western met in the 55th renewal of this city rivalry at Bob Mathias Stadium. Tulare Western won 24-14, its first win in the series since 2015 – the last time Tulare Union lost in East Yosemite League play. The victory secured an undefeated East Yosemite League season for the Mustangs. Tulare Union leads the series 39-16.

Cowhide Game – Redwood defeated Mt. Whitney 49-19 in the 65th annual game at Mineral King Bowl in Visalia, giving the Rangers a 37-27-1 lead in the series.

Battle for the Saddle – El Diamante and Golden West started their own Visalia rivalry when El Diamante became the city’s fourth public high school. Golden West defeated the Miners 48-7 but El Diamante leads the series 10-6.

Milk Can Game – The 76th meeting was a shootout between Hanford and Lemoore, won by Hanford 43-36 at Neighbor Bowl. Hanford leads the series 41-33-2.

Fire Hydrant Trophy – Kingsburg now leads the series with Selma 49-36-2 after a 43-27 victory.

Granite Bowl – Porterville rolled to a victory over Monache 61-6, but the Marauders still lead the series 31-19-1.

Mountain Bowl – Yosemite beat Sierra 27-6 in the 36th meeting.

Range Rider Trophy – Started when Clovis West became the second high school in the district. After Clovis’ 27-23 win Friday, Clovis West’s lead in the series is 26-22.

Stadium Road Showdown – This series between Madera and Madera South was started in 2008 when Madera South opened. Madera won 28-7.

Anthony Galaviz: 559-441-6042, agalaviz_TheBee

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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.