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Local schools look to end football season on high note

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Delano High School running back Alexis Cervantes runs with the ball against Monache High School on Oct. 15.

Football in Delano is close to hitting its peak as two teams picked up league wins on Oct. 15. Both Cesar Chavez and Robert F. Kennedy high schools were heading into their final two regular season games of the season with wins, while Delano High School continued to struggle against their league opponents.

Both Kennedy and Chavez were on the road Oct. 15, however the Thunderbirds traveled only seven miles down Highway 99 to face the McFarland Cougars in their SSL matchup. Kennedy made quick work of the one-win Cougars, this time utilizing the passing game rather than their usual option-run style.

The junior Thunderbirds quarterback Juian Orozco shined in the best game of his career so far, completing five of his 10 passing attempts for 233 yards and four touchdowns. Three of these touchdowns were caught by wide receiver Sebastian Arellano, who finished the night with 166 yards. The other two completions came from Hugo More, who totaled 66 receiving yards and one touchdown.

Despite the strong passing attack, the Thunderbird rushers also had themselves a night. Senior running back Avian Pesina ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns off of seven carries, while Mora picked up 28 yards off of two carries.

Kennedy finished the night with 405 total offensive yards and a 44-0 victory over McFarland to improve to 6-2 (2-1 SSL) on the year.

Not to be outdone, Cesar Chavez High School also picked up an SSL win of their own with a 12-7 victory over Taft on Oct. 15. In their low-scoring affair, the Titans struck first in the second quarter to take a 6-0 lead that carried into the half. In the second half, the Titans' stout defense led to the team extending their lead to 12-0 with five minutes remaining in the third quarter.

However, their lead was cut in half as Taft scored on their very next drive, leaving the game at 12-7 with two minutes remaining in the third quarter. However the Chavez defense stepped up and did not allow a score in the fourth to hold off the Wildcats 12-7.

Despite struggling early in the season, Cesar Chavez has now won two of their last three games heading into Friday's game against North High (their only loss came against undefeated Wasco).

Delano High School was the only team to come out of Week 9 without a win, losing to a beatable Monache team (3-4 at the time) for their third straight East Yosemite League loss. Although the Tigers lost 34-10, they actually remained in the game late into the second half, but could not hold on against the Marauders.

The game began with Delano receiving, but having to punt on their first offensive drive. Both teams traded possessions as they struggled offensively, however Monache struck first with a touchdown late in the first quarter.

After several more possessions, Delano scored thanks to a 43-yard field goal by Andrew Carrasco that shortened the lead to 7-3. However the Marauders scored again late into the second quarter to make the score at half 13-3.

In the second half both teams struggled offensively again, however Monache scored to extend their lead to 20-3. Although the score seemed out of reach, the Tigers rallied to score a touchdown from an Andrew Carrasco run, shortening the lead to 20-10.

Now only down two scores, Delano seemed to be coming back as they forced a quick three-and-out possession from the Marauders. However, as the Tigers began a crucial drive to put themselves back in the game, sophomore quarterback Eddie Silva threw an interception that led to another Monache score.

After the turnover, the life seemed to leave Delano players and fans alike, and the Tigers finished the game with a 34-10 loss to their third straight league opponent. 

For Week 10 Kennedy was the only team at home, as they took on Shafter in another league matchup. The Tigers played Thursday night against Porterville, and Chavez was scheduled to face North High for a non-league matchup.

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