Monache host Chavez tonight 7 p.m.
The opening week of high school football was an exciting one with three out of four teams picking up wins.
Porterville upset Dinuba again, this time with a 49-42 comeback on the road. Granite Hills surprised many with a 31-24 win against Orange Cove. Now the Grizzlies and Panthers face off Friday at 7 p.m.
Lindsay also plays Friday, traveling to Morro Bay for a 7:15 p.m. game. The Cardinals won last week with a late 26-14 victory against California City.
Monache hit a bump in the road with a 26-15 loss at Golden West but could pick up their first win at Jacob Rankin Stadium tonight against Cesar Chavez. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
Strathmore starts their season at home against Boron in a 7:15 p.m. game.
Cesar Chavez (1-0) vs. Monache (0-1) @ Rankin Stadium, 7 p.m. Thursday
Things didn’t go well for Div. IV Monache in their season opener at Div. III Golden West with the Marauders being held scoreless until the final five minutes of the game. Quarterback Sullivan Focke was able to connect with Kaori Sims and TrayVon Bradford for touchdowns, including a 62-yard one to Bradford, and had a successful two-point conversion by Aidan Galvan.
Until those final minutes Monache wasn’t able to get much done offensively, which is a problem for a team that returns one of the best running backs in the Valley and all four of their top receivers. Galvan, who is coming off a 1,719 rushing yard season, was held to just 15 yards on 11 carries.
Monache has a chance to turn things around against Div. IV Chavez, who beat Delano 12-7 last week. Offensively the Titans had most of their success in the run, where they rushed for 233 yards and two touchdowns on 53 carries.
Porterville (1-0) @ Granite Hills (1-0), 7 p.m. Friday
Granite Hills win over Orange Cove, who were predicted to be one of Div. VI’s top teams this season, was huge but they have a big challenge when it comes to Div. IV Porterville. Last season these two teams met, Porterville won 47-14.
The Grizzlies' line had success, especially on defense where Granite sacked Orange Cove’s quarterback six times. But it’s doubtful they have that type of luck getting to the Panthers’ Hector Nava Jr.
Nava Jr. threw for 380 yards and four touchdowns on 13 of 19 completions against Div. II Dinuba and also rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries. Porterville’s offensive line is solid and they held steady in the Panthers’ late comeback. It’s unlikely they’ll consistently expose their quarterback like Orange Cove did.
Granite’s defense will also have a tough time stopping Isaiah Ellis, who had 241 yards and four touchdowns on six receptions while also rushing for 112 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.
Porterville gave up 300 yards and five touchdowns to Dinuba’s passing game but held them to just three yards and one touchdown on 38 carries. Granite’s Creston Goodigon put up a team-high 62 yards on 10 carries and is a tough back to bring down, but the Grizzlies offense may come to rely more on Max Jimenez, who had 89 yards and two touchdowns on three receptions.
Lindsay (1-0) @ Morro Bay (0-1), 7 p.m. Friday
Mario Diaz started his senior season off strong with a 148-yard and three-touchdown receiving night while Daniel Trujillo rushed for 142 yards and one touchdown on 30 carries in Lindsay’s opening win.
The Cardinals played well for the win and even had a nice night defensively. They held City, a team known for speed, to just 69 receiving yards and 129 rushing yards. Lindsay also caused three fumbles, had three fumble recoveries and two interceptions.
There’s still some cleaning up to do for Lindsay at quarterback. Juniors Nick Dunning and Randon Gomez combined for 147 yards and three touchdowns on 8 of 14 completed passes but both had an interception.
Even though Morro Bay is a Div. IV program, the Cardinals made easy work of the Pirates last season by holding them scoreless in a 46-0 victory. However that was at home and this time they’ll have to make the three-hour trip to the bay. The Pirates lost their home opener 37-0 to Rio Hondo Prep.
Boron (1-0) @ Strathmore (0-0), 7:15 p.m. Friday
Strathmore finally gets the season started tomorrow night when they host Boron, a team they beat 48-6 to start last year.
The Spartans shouldn’t have a problem against the Bearcats with nearly all of their top skills players returning but it will be the first test for an offensive and defensive line that only return two starters in Angel Colunga and Aaron Estrada.
Strathmore was able to run all over Boron last season with Alonso Acevedo, but now it’ll be up to running backs like Carlos Moreno, Christian Onsurez and Javier Garcilazo to carry the team’s famous run game.
Boron is coming off a 35-13 win against Silver Valley in which Bryson Job caught four passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns and running back Aaron Core rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.