All games Friday, LHS and SHS play home

The NFL returns tonight making football an almost daily thing over the next few months, but Friday nights still belong to the high school squads.

All Orange Belt teams have already picked up their first wins within the first two weeks, except for Monache who look to be on the heels of getting theirs after a close 23-14 loss to Chavez.

Strathmore stumbled some last week but picked up where they left off last season with a 42-6 win over Boron while Lindsay slipped by Morro Bay in a 7-0 victory.

Porterville was merciless in their 53-7 win over Granite Hills and will have a bye for week three.

This week all teams play on Friday with Lindsay and Strathmore at home while Granite Hills and Monache are on the road.

Monache (0-2) @ Kingsburg (2-0), 7:30 p.m.

Monache couldn't capture their first win after a short-lived lead against Chavez but head coach Shane Focke said there’s still no need to panic after the team's two first losses.

The Div. IV Marauders face a tough task this week against the Vikings of Di. IV Kingsburg, who have proved to be defensively sound and beat Monache 45-28 last season. Kingsburg held Div. II San Joaquin Memorial (1-1) to just 14 points two weeks ago and beat Washington Union (1-1) 19-13 last week. 

Despite their loss last week, Monache’s offense did pick up and Aidan Galvan rushed for 93 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries while TrayVon Bradford had 86 yards and a touchdown on three receptions. Even quarterback Sullivan Focke’s 140 yards and one touchdowns on 7 of 19 completions with one interception said a lot about a team who were held scoreless for nearly an entire game just the week before.

Finishing was a problem for the Marauders last week with a chance to win on their fingertips, literally. Monache’s defense can get the stops needed against a Kingsburg offense that’s done just enough to win but it’s their offense that still needs to get things rolling consistently to secure the win.

Parlier (1-1) @ Strathmore (1-0), 7:15 p.m.

There was talk that Div. V Strathmore might throw the ball more this season and they actually did in a 42-6 rout of Div. VI Boron (1-1) in Friday’s season-opener. 

But not to be lost in the fact that Strathmore threw for more yards than they ran for — 156 to 104 — is that the score was only 6-6 at halftime. The Spartans could hardly run the ball in the first half, which is usually their signature. Everything worked out though with quarterback Trace Pugh going 10 of 12 with 156 yards and a touchdown to Lee Navarro, Andre Bravo and Cutter Zeller. 

Strathmore expects Div. VI Parlier to be more of a passing team and that’ll benefit the Spartans since their secondary is fast and smart with interceptions from Miguel Carranza and Manuel Andrade against Boron. Also linebackers Christian Onsurez and Cristian Rodriguez, may look small in size but they’re hard hitters and lead the team with 12 and nine tackles, respectively. 

Exeter (1-1) @ Lindsay (2-0), 7:15 p.m.

Lindsay is once again starting the season 2-0 after escaping Morro Bay with a 7-0 win thanks to another touchdown from Mario Diaz. The Div. VI Cardinals praised the two-way player before the season for his abilities on both sides of the field and it looks like he’s proving them right thus far.

But Diaz isn’t the only offensive player making waves for Lindsay as running back Daniel Trujillo has posted back-to-back 100-yard games for a total of 319 yards and two touchdowns. His big games for the Cardinals are likely to continue.

Matching up with Div. V Exeter this week could possibly test the Cardinals, as the Monarchs are either completely dominating like in their 62-0 win over Div. VI Farmersville (0-2), or being overrun like when they lost 24-0 to Div. V Woodlake (2-0).

Even though they replaced their entire starting defensive line, the Cardinals defense is looking good with only two touchdowns allowed so far this season.

Granite Hills (1-1) @ Orosi (1-0), 7:30 p.m.

Granite Hills was obliterated 53-7 by Porterville (2-0) for their first loss last week. But to be fair, the Div. VI Grizzlies were playing the Panthers, one of the top teams in Div. IV.

Things could get back on track for Granite with another statement win at Orosi. In week one, the Cardinals escaped a potential comeback from Coalinga to win 31-28 before taking a bye last week.

Outside of a 76-yard touchdown pass to Max Jimenez, Porterville completely shut down Granite’s offense, picked them off twice and recovered two fumbles. Orosi didn’t allow Coalinga to rush for more than 74 yards while giving up 170 through the air, however the run has been key to the Grizzlies offense and they’ll likely need more out of backs Creston Goodigon and Manny Aguilar.

Orosi was able to move the ball against Coalinga with quarterback Evan Lara, who was 9 of 18 with 131 yards, a touchdown and an interception; but three of the team’s four touchdowns were scored on the ground by Dominic Martinez. He had 174 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries.

Defensively Granite is more sound than last week’s score indicates. They gave up several touchdowns from 27 or more yards out but also got to the quarterback three times to bring their season total to nine sacks from six different players.

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