Nothing like a rivalry game win on the road to cure all woes, for a team like South.
The Rebels came into Friday night’s road game at longtime rival North with a three-game losing streak by combined scores of 101-21.
Senior quarterback Bryson Aguirre threw for 311 yards and three touchdowns, including a 69-yard scoring strike to Jared Carter and another one for 37 yards to Jalyen Sanders, as the Rebels held on for a 30-27 win over the Stars in the Southeast Yosemite League opener.
“They played with a lot more motivation than the last few weeks,” South coach Cary Mills said. “We played hard. Not all that well, but with great intensity. The win is good and puts us back right where we need to be.”
It’s the seventh consecutive win for South (3-3, 1-0) over North (3-3, 0-1) in the longstanding “Battle of the Sword” rivalry, but this one was the most exciting during that streak for the Rebels.
Bailey West threw for 193 yards and Justin Turner scored on a touchdown run in the fourth quarter for North. The Stars converted the 2-point conversion and had the ball in the final seconds of the game down by three, but the Rebels held on to keep the sword on Planz Avenue for at least another year.
In the other SEYL game Friday night, Highland defeated Foothill 70-21 for the Scots' sixth consecutive win, the longest in school history.
Marquie Lewis ran the ball eight times for 132 yards and two touchdowns as the Scots built a 56-14 halftime lead.
Highland (6-0, 1-0) is on a bye this week and South plays Mira Monte (0-6, 0-1) before a matchup at South on Oct. 20 that will likely be for the SEYL title.
“I’ll be cliche here, but we are worried about Mira Monte (on Friday),” Mills said. “But that makes it a really good game coming up. That is going to be a great game. (Highland coach) Mike Gutierrez is a good friend and has that team playing really well. We will be ready. I know my kids will be ready.”
SSL showdown coming - Braden Wingle and Alex Aguilar have been two of the best quarterbacks in the Central Section this season.
Wingle threw for 247 yards and three touchdowns, two to Alex Wallace, for Bakersfield Christian in a 42-0 win over Chavez.
Aguilar led Shafter to a 28-0 win over Taft.
The shutouts for both teams sets up a likely league title showdown on Friday at BCHS.
The Eagles (6-1, 3-0) are riding a five-game win streak and Shafter (5-1, 3-0) has won the last three games heading into Friday’s showdown.