CHANNEL 30 TEAM OF THE WEEK
Lacey Rees/Sierra Star
Proudly dangling the Mountain Bowl trophy from the bus window, the Yosemite High School varsity football team and cheerleaders get ready for a trip to Fresno as Channel 30’s Me & Ed’s Pizza team of the week last Monday.
Badger varsity ekes out narrow win over Selma 24-21
Last Friday night’s game at Selma was suppose to be a “ho-hum” one for the undefeated Yosemite Badgers. But it was not.
The third play of the game startled the Badgers’ players, coaches and fans as Selma’s quarterback, Steven Salle, lofted a pass to the Bears’ receiver, Eric Vasquez, resulting in an 82-yard play and a Selma touchdown. Vasquez had a phenominal night catching eight passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns.
The Bears’ led 7-0 with 10 minutes left in the first period. The Badgers had to hang on for their dear lives to eke out a 24-21 victory. The Badgers’ now have a 7-0 record.
The key sequence of the game occurred with 7:38 to go in the fourth quarter. The score was 17-7, Badgers. Similar to last week’s fumble recovery and score, the opposing quarterback was hit by the defense resulting in a fumble. Badger Becher Marr picked up the ball and raced 73-yards for a touchdown. This made the score 24-7. Things looked “rosy” for the Badgers with only 6:05 left in the game. Selma mounted a drive via the pass. The Bears’ new quarterback, Joseph Anes, completed, six out of eight passes for six first-downs. The last play in the series was a 17-yard T.D. pass to Vasquez. The score was 24-13 as the P.A.T. was missed.
The Bears attempted an on-side kick that was recovered by the Bears. The ball was at mid-field with 1:38 left in the game. Four plays later, Anes hit Vasquez with a bomb for a Selma touchdown. The play covered 44 yards. The two-point conversion was good, and the Bears trailed by only three points. The score was 24-21 in favor of the Badgers.
The Bears again tried an on-side kick. The kick was caught by Yosemite’s Becher Marr who returned the ball 25 yards. The Bears had only one time-out as the clock expired with the Badgers holding a 24-21 victory.
Earlier in the evening Yosemite’s quarterback, Daniel Reagan, hit Becher Marr with a 16-yard T.D. passto tie the game at 7-7 with 1:43 left in the first period . Marr scored two Badger touchdowns.
Quint Brown carried the ball for 162 yards on an unbelievable 37 carries, and he scored a 14-yard touchdown run. His T.D. gave the Badgers a 14-7 lead with 4:38 left in the second quarter. Yosemite’s Casey Lucas kicked a 25-yard field goal to make the halftime score 17-7, Badgers.
Yosemite’s next opponent is San Joaquin Memorial. This game will be for first place in the league. The game is 7:30 this Friday. The junior varsity game starts at 5:30 p.m. The Badgers’ varsity has never defeated Memorial.
YHS JV defeats Selma 28-15
Greg Dodderidge - Sierra Star
Coach Bonner Cunnings and staff shook things up this week and brought up 18 players from the freshman team to the JV squad. QB Shawn Long also threw a monkey-wrench into the plans by getting suspended for the game due to disciplinary action.
This set the stage for what turned out to be a tough battle for the YHS JV who took on the Selma Bears last Friday. The Badgers prevailed in a tough fought 28-15 victory. The win put the Badgers at 6-1 overall, and 2-0 in the Central Sequoia League. It was a game dominated by tough Badger “D”, TJ Grijalva, and the gutsy play of freshman QB Steven Daniels.
Both offenses were inept in the early going. The Badger offensive line could not get Grijalva going. Grijalva’s first four runs went for negative yardage. The Badger offense had three new starters and the chemistry just wasn’t there right away.
The Badger Defense got the scoring started in the first quarter. A bad snap over the head of Selma QB Alex Calderon was recovered by recently brought up frosh, LB Owen Martin in the end zone. TJ Grijalva kicked the PAT. With 5:43 left in the first quarter, the Badgers were up 7-0.
The Bears responded early in the second quarter. Bear RB Chris Mukai ripped runs of 12, and 13 yards. On a third and 10, Mukai ran around right end for a 21-yard gain. The Bears moved to the YHS six-yard line. After being pushed back to the 14, Alex Calderon connected with Iggie Robledo for a score. The two-point conversion failed and the Bears closed the gap to 7-6, YHS.
On the next YHS possession, normally sure-handed FB Kyle Harders fumbled. The Bears recovered and took over at the YHS 46. Calderon then hit Robledo for a 26-yard completion. On the next play, Mukai burst through the middle, cut right and ran in for a 17-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion failed. Selma had a 12-7 lead with 6:17 to go in the half.
On the next possession, the Badger offense woke from its hibernation! The Badgers took over at their 35-yard line. The line started to gel and broke holes for TJ Grijalva. TJ ran for 10 and 12 yards. Then QB Steven Daniels took over. Daniels, getting his first JV start, was thrust into the starter role with Shawn Long on the sidelines. Daniels connected with Rob Sotelo for 15 yards. Three plays later, Daniels hit Sotelo again, this time for 22 yards. The Badgers moved to the Selma three, where TJ Grijalva burst up the middle for a Badger TD. The PAT failed, but the Badgers had the lead back, 13-12 with 2:00 left before the half.
Not to be outdone, the Bears, moved quickly downfield. Alex Calderon hit Eric Diaz for a 42-yard pass. The Bears moved to the Badger 10-yard line. TJ Grijalva blitzed, sacked Calderon and stopped the TD threat. With .5 seconds before halftime, the Bears’ Shawn Cabrera kicked a 25-yard field goal. After an exciting first half, the Bears had a 15-13 lead.
Second Half Badger Domination
Whatever Coach Cunnings said at halftime worked! The Badgers came out fired up for the third quarter. Matt Prescott took the opening kickoff 42 yards. The Badgers drove to the Selma 20 before an interception by Bears’ DB Eleazer Vasquez killed the drive.
The Badgers stopped the Bears and took over at their own 40. The Bears at the YHS 30 then recovered a second Harders fumble. But Harders and the rest of the defensive unit made a great stand. The Bears went nowhere! On a fourth and four Rob Sotelo broke up a Calderon pass and the Badgers had the ball at the YHS 30.
The offense then went to work. The Badgers went on a 70-yard scoring drive. TJ Grijalva had runs of 12, 14, and 15 yards. The highlight of the drive had to be a great 29-yard, over-the-head catch by John Blea from a Steven Daniels pass. With .04 to go in the third, TJ Grijalva broke three tackles and dove in for a four-yard touchdown. The Badgers then faked the point-after kick. TJ Grijalva took the snap, ran right and hit Alec Campbell in the corner of the end zone for the two points. The Badgers now had the lead back, 21-15 beginning the fourth quarter.
The Bears were not going away. A 40-yard kickoff return by Chris Mukai put Selma in great field position at the Selma 45 yard line. But again, the Badger defense rose to the occasion. A diving interception by Chris Warder gave the Badgers the ball back at their own 47.
The Badger offense put the game away later in the quarter. A 20-yard Bear punt gave the Badgers great field position at the Selma 34. TJ Grijalva and the offensive line did the rest. Grijalva had runs of eight, nine, and 11 yards. Finally, Grijalva ran right off-tackle for a nine-yard touchdown. Grijalva kicked the extra point and the Badgers had the game in hand and a 28-15 victory.
TJ Grijalva literally carried the load for the Badgers. Grijalva rushed for 149 yards on a season-high 28 carries and had three TD’s. 122 of the yards came in the second half. This is Grijalva’s sixth 100-yard game this season and the 10th in his last 11 games dating back to 2001. Matt Prescott had two rushes for 16 yards. Credit an outstanding second half performance to the Badger offensive line of: Ryan Caywood, Casey Robeson, Ryan Walthius, Justin Stewart, and Kevin Rose!
Freshman QB Steven Daniels earned game ball honors with Grijalva. Daniels was six for 13 for 107 yards and two INT’s. Daniels engineered three touchdown drives and led the offense with calm that belied his first start. Daniels did not have much time with the first string offense, which made his performance that much more remarkable.
Rob Sotelo had three catches for 64 yards. John Blea was one for 29 yards. Chris Warders and TJ Grijalva each had a catch for seven yards.
The defense was outstanding as usual. TJ Grijalva had nine tackles. Kyle Harders and Alec Campbell had seven each. Price Walling had a QB sack, Chris Warder an INT, and Owen Martin a fumble recovery in the end zone for a TD.
Next up for the Badgers is an away game at San Joaquin Memorial. The JV start is 5:30 on 10/26.