Junior quarterback Jack Taylor scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 6-yard run with 3 minutes and 26 seconds remaining as Central Section sixth-ranked Bullard High held off No. 14 Edison 28-21 in a see-saw County/Metro Athletic Conference game Friday at Chukchansi Park.
Bullard (8-2, 4-1) and Edison (4-6, 3-2) traded scores throughout on a night charged with a 97-yard kickoff return by the Tigers’ Damon Rogers.
Neither team had managed two in a row until Johnny Mayberry forced a fumble on a sack and Bee All-Star linebacker Ben Baker scooped it up and raced 12 yards for a touchdown that put Bullard ahead 21-14 in the fourth quarter.
Edison answered to tie it, 21-21, on sophomore Gerard Mendez’s 47-yard pass to Rogers.
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Taylor, a junior, completed 7 of 11 passes for 114 yards, including a 7-yard TD to Markelle Raymond. And Charles Williams, closing in a 2,000-yard season, carried 25 times for 131 yards for the Knights.
Mendez, a Sunnyside transfer who became eligible midway through the season, completed 14 of 20 passes for 159 yards.
Isaiah Hilliard rushed for 173 yards and four touchdowns and Chris Soria returned a second-half interception 70 yards for the Apaches (9-1, 5-0), who pulled away from the Panthers (7-3, 2-3) to ensure sole possession of the CMAC title.
Sanger trailed 17-6 in the second quarter and was still down 17-15 at halftime, but rallied with the help of a power rushing attack that totaled 450 yards on 56 carries. Andrew Azua also rushed for 140 yards.
Trey Perryman scored on a 1-yard run, cousin Allen Perryman bolted for a 59-yard score and A.J. Bow caught a 42-yard scoring pass from Logan Ahlin as the Tigers (8-2, 6-0) raced to a 21-0 halftime lead en route to routing the Bullpups (9-1, 5-1) for the West Yosemite League title.
Trey Perryman also rushed for TDs of 58 and 3 yards, and Ahlin and Bow connected for another 17-yard score as Lemoore rolled a year after defeating its Kings County rival 24-13 to close the regular season when both teams were also 5-0 in the league.
The Tigers are expected to receive a high D-II seed Saturday, competing primarily against South Yosemite League champion Ridgeview (10-0, 4-0) and County/Metro Athletic Conference king Sanger (9-1, 5-0).
Hanford quarterback Ryan Johnson returned from a two-week absence with a concussion and completed a 19-yard TD pass to Brandon Sanchez in the fourth quarter after Lemoore was well in command, 28-0.
The Tigers outscored WYL opponents 258-26.
The 61st annual Cowhide Game started off as a close one with the score tied after one quarter.
But then the Rangers (3-7, 3-3) scored 28 straight points to pull away in this WYL matchup and move to 35-25-1 all-time against the Pioneers (4-6, 2-4) in the longtime Visalia rivalry.
David Alcantar ran for 78 yards and two touchdowns and Cameron Horsting made field goals from 32 and 43 yards as the Mustangs (7-3, 5-0) upset Tulare 20-17 to earn their first East Yosemite League title since 2004.
Tulare Western also benefited with Tulare running back Romello Harris sidelined for the second straight game with a knee injury.
The Mustangs improved to 5-0 since Mission Oak transfer Andre Aguilar became eligible at quarterback.
Tulare quarterback Josh Guerrero completed 21 of 35 passes for 172 yards and one touchdown and ran in another score.
Tulare (9-1, 4-1) never led, though the score was tied 10-10 at halftime.
The No. 15 Grizzlies (3-7, 2-3 Tri-River Athletic Conference) trailed by as many as 19 points midway through the third quarter, but they stormed back with 21 straight points and ended the game on a 43-6 run to get the win they needed to meet district rules for playoff participation.
Central’s Nick Spzor completed 20 of 34 passes for 252 yards and four touchdowns. Dennis Laney ran for 118 yards on 11 carries.
Trey Semien threw for 239 yards and Marcus Washington rushed for 91 yards and three touchdowns for Clovis East (3-8, 0-5).
Playing before a packed house on hand for the annual Little Big Game, the Warriors completed an undefeated run through the North Yosemite League with the help of two Lee Major second-half touchdowns.
Major’s game-winner was a 25-yarder. He also had a touchdown catch just after halftime.
The section 16th-ranked Warriors (9-1, 5-0) never trailed and got on the scoreboard first thanks to quarterback Khory Day’s 68-yard touchdown run.
Ashanti Ross threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as the Panthers (7-3, 5-0) defeated the Lions (5-4, 3-2) to cap a sweep of their North Sequoia League opponents.
Washington’s Devontae Massey had five catches for 82 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown on a hail mary pass to end the first half, and Carlos Silva had seven receptions for 59 yards. Johnny Rodriguez kicked a pair of field goals in helping the Panthers take a 19-0 lead into the locker room.
Silva and Armando Gaytan had second-half interceptions for Washington.
Shane Maldonado rushed for 257 yards and Tristan Wilson completed 15 of 20 passes for 292 yards and three touchdowns as the Chieftains topped the Badgers in the annual Mountain Bowl.
Maldonado found the end zone of a 46-yard run and teammates Tim Lee and Jake Figgs each had two touchdowns.
The Chieftains (2-7, 1-4 NSL) kept their rival Badgers (0-9, 0-5) winless.
Jackson Watts scored two touchdowns in the second half. But the Hawks came up short after quarterback Markie Brandt failed to complete a 2-point conversion pass that would’ve tied the score.
Chowchilla’s Anthony Stewart ran 20 times for 104 yards and one touchdown. Quarterback Ryan Selby also scored for Chowchilla (8-2, 4-1 NSL) with a 2-yard keeper.
Watts finished with 94 yards on 15 carries for the Gold Hawks (6-4, 2-3).
Garrett Perkinson’s 1-yard fumble return for a score put the Monarchs (7-3, 2-2) ahead in the fourth quarter, and a 7-yard touchdown pass from Alec Trujillo to JJ Villhauer and a 38-yard Ryan Buchanan helped them pull away from the Emperors (5-5, 2-2) in the Central Sequoia League.
Exeter rode the 1-2 punch of running backs Brandon Freeman (153 yards, one touchdown) and Anthony Torres (85 yards and a score), while freshman Trujillo passed for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
Dinuba’s loss makes Central Valley Christian, which closed with a 45-34 nonleague win over Immanuel, the outright champion of the CSL.
Henry Ramirez connected with Tiveon Stroud for a 42-yard touchdown to give the Bears (7-3, 2-2) their first lead with 7:17 left in the game en route to their first win over the rival Vikings (5-5, 1-3) in 12 years in a CSL finale.
Rogelio Alvarez scored what proved to be the winning score on a 2-yard run with 6:13 to play, putting Selma up 35-27.
Seth Brooks’ 7-yard touchdown with with 4:23 to go made it 35-33, but a 2-point conversion pass was incomplete.
Ramirez finished with 230 yards passing and three touchdowns, with Joel Aranda catching seven passes for 158 yards.
Brooks rushed for 309 yards and three scores for Kingsburg.
A battle of West Sequoia League unbeatens went all the Blue Raiders’ way early, except for what proved to be a crucial miss on the opening PAT, then all in the Redcats’ favor late thanks to three Matt Kahaian touchdown passes.
Caruthers marched downfield on its opening possession and scored when Ranvir Johal caught a 16-yard pass from JJ Gonzalez. Hugo Mendez, however, blocked the conversion kick and the Blue Raiders spent the rest of the half chasing that point.
A pair of Fowler turnovers helped set up scoring drives that pushed its deficit to 18-0, but each time Caruthers tried a 2-point conversion.
The Redcats (7-2, 4-0) finally got on the board in spectacular fashion. Kahaian, facing fourth-and-4 from the Caruthers 34, threw a deep post to Chris Silva and Mendez’s kick made it 18-7.
Roman Reyna forced a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half that Elijah Vasquez recovered to set up Isaac Siordia’s 1-yard run, and Kahaian added touchdown passes of 41 and 36 yards to Victorio Jimenez.
Alex Puga got Caruthers (6-4, 3-1) close with a 2-yard run, capping a 174-yard night, though Mendez again blocked the PAT.
The Blue Raiders regained possession with 1:30 to play, but sacks by Jordan Mendez and Michael Lara closed it out for Fowler.
Andrew Jimenez scored two touchdowns to lead the Cowboys (3-8, 2-2) over the Panthers (0-9, 0-4) in the WSL.
Riverdale also received 101 yards rushing and a touchdown from JP Sanchez, and 98 yards rushing from Fernando Zarate.
Parlier got 124 yards and a touchdown from Victor Cisneros.
Victor Castarejon rushed for 163 yards and a touchdown as the Aztecs (3-7, 3-1) beat the Cougars (5-5, 2-2) in the East Sierra League.
Castarejon also threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to J.J. Galaviz.
Noey Garcia’s 34-yard third-quarter touchdown pass to Tyler Palmer proved to be the difference as the Eagles (5-5, 3-2) edged the Aztecs (6-4, 3-2) in the West Sierra League.
Firebaugh scored first in the second quarter on Jasper Medina’s 16-yard run. Mendota answered later in the second with Junior Cardenas’ 12-yard pass to Julian Cardenas.
Freshman quarterback Robby Stevenson threw for three 50-yard or longer touchdowns by midway through the third quarter as the Tigers blew past the Grizzlies to cap an undefeated run through the East Sequoia League.
Woodlake improved to 8-2 and awaited its seeding in D-V, where independent Immanuel, Fowler and Dos Palos entered the final week in the top three of The Bee’s divisional rankings.
Granite Hills, at 3-7 and 0-5, opted out of the D-VI playoffs.