Local high schools can use one of those NFL promos when the league talks about how the week ends on Monday and then the next week begins on Thursday.

That's the case with Orange Belt football teams as the Monache and Porterville High football teams begin the week in football tonight after Strathmore High ended the previous week on Monday. This kind of schedule has been created due to the poor air quality caused by the Windy Fire, leading to games having to be rescheduled.

Monache and Porterville will both have tough East Yosemite League tests tonight. The Marauders (3-3, 0-1) will host Mission Oak at 7:30 p.m. today at Rankin Stadium while PHS (2-3, 0-0) will face Tulare Western (4-2, 1-0) at 7:30 p.m. today at Bob Mathias Stadium in Tulare.

Porterville was set to turn around to then host Mission Oak at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Rankin Stadium. But that game was canceled and won't be rescheduled the Porterville Unified School District stated.

The district stated the game was canceled out of consideration for the health and safety of the players. Had the game been played that would have meant Porterville would have had to play three games in eight days.

After tonight, PHS will next host Tulare Union on October 15. The PHS-Mission Oak game was originally supposed to be played last Friday, but couldn't be played due to poor air quality as a result of the Windy Fire.

Strathmore (6-0, 2-0), coming off an impressive 53-7 win at Woodlake, will travel to Sierra Pacific for a 7:15 p.m. game Friday. Granite Hills will also host Farmersville at 7:15 p.m. Friday. Lindsay has a bye week this week.


It figures a key for Monache will be to keep Mission Oak quarterback Michael Iriye, whose a dual threat as a passer and a runner, off the field with its running game led by a number of running backs, including David Leyva, Damien Espinoza, Tyler Ishida, Jacob Vasquez and Joseph Espinoza.

Monache is coming off a 26-0 loss against Tulare Union in which the Marauders trailed 7-0 going into the fourth quarter.

Mission Oak hasn't played since September 17 when it beat Exeter 20-14 in overtime. The Hawks then had a bye and then had their game against PHS postponed.


PHS has had a solid defense with leading pass rusher Hayden Scott among the leaders. But that defense will have a tough task in containing a prolific Western offense.

Western's two losses have come against Valley powers Dinuba (48-20) and Hanford (41-7). But the Mustangs also have impressive wins over Frontier (16-14), Redwood (35-27) and Mt. Whitney (45-7). And Western rolled to a 56-21 win over Delano last week in its EYL opener.

Quarteback Carmine Fisher has put up huge numbers for the Mustangs, completing 63 percent of his passes (115-for-184) for 1,560 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. Fisher spreads the ball around with his top targets being Andrew Maciel, who's averaging 20.3 yards a catch (24-487); Carson Lopes, who leads the team with six TD receptions (21-323); and Ben Leon (23-250). Damion Bello is Western's leading rusher, having run for 381 yards.

STRATHMORE (6-0, 2-0) AT SIERRA PACIFIC (1-5, 0-2), 7:15 P.M. FRIDAY

This could be a trap game for Strathmore considering the Golden Bears lost to Woodlake 27-20 and Farmersville 26-14. Sierra Pacific got off to an encouraging start to the season opening with a solid showing in a 33-21 loss to Reedley and then beat Avenal 46-12. But the Golden Bears have struggled since.

Sierra Pacific, though, still has a strong running game with three running backs averaging at least 6.0 yards a carry. Jayden Sever has gained 511 yards on 67 carries (7.6), Ty Etulian has gained 406 yards on 68 carries (6.0) and Devic Cruz has gained 268 yards on 34 carries (7.9).


This figures to be an even matchup but the Grizzlies will need to eliminate the mistakes that plagued them in a 34-6 loss to Lindsay in their last game. The Grizzlies have shown they can move the ball behind such offensive weapons as Manny Aguilar, who rushed for 153 yards on 21 carries against the Cardinals.

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