It may have been two years since area high schools took the field for fall football, but it had been even longer since Delano celebrated a victory.
That losing skid, which reached 16 games and 1,071 days, came to an end Friday night when the Tigers posted a 16-0 victory over visiting Chowchilla.
“Not only did we end a 16-game losing streak, but our defense overall did an outstanding job by posting a shutout against a great team who wants to pound the football,” said first-year Delano coach Frank Gonzales Jr., whose team did not participate in the spring season.
The Tigers, whose last victory came in a 41-14 win at Foothill on Sept. 14, 2018, showcased their own ground game, with sophomore quarterback Eddie Silva leading the way.
Silva ran more than 40 yards for a touchdown, and senior running backs Conor Dimas and Andrew Carrasco carried the load to lead the way.
“They showed us some good things, running hard,” Gonzales said. “For our first game, in a new system, both offensively and defensively, the kids showed potential. This was a great win for our school, our administration, our students and our players.
“We have many things to clean up, but our coaching staff was very pleased with the effort and grit that our players showed.”
Delano was originally scheduled to play at Chavez on Friday, but health and safety protocols prevented the Titans from playing this week. Fortunately, the Tigers found a last-minute opponent in Chowchilla.
“The look in our players' eyes after months of preparation and a hard-fought battle against a well-disciplined, tough football team was worth it,” said Gonzales, whose team travels to play Rosamond this Friday at 7 p.m. “These kids did an outstanding job last night for their first varsity football game.”
West 27, Shafter 20
The Vikings rallied from a 12-7 halftime deficit, outscoring the Generals 20-8 in the second half in a game played at North High. Shafter’s field is being renovated. Nick Harris rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns to lead West, and teammate Raymond Huerta added 77 yards and a score on 11 carries. Defensively, James Rufus had an interception for the Vikings, who are scheduled to play at East this week. Shafter quarterback Tyson Dozhier rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns, and also completed 9 of 17 passes. Elijha Lucero scored the other touchdown for the Generals on the ground, and Jesus Figueroa had two catches for 48 yards, including one for 38 yards. Shafter plays at Highland this week.
Liberty 28, Sparks (Nev.)-Spanish Springs 3
Jason Oliver caught two touchdown passes and Jalen Hankins ran for two scores to lead the Patriots in a game played six hours and more than 400 miles from home. The Patriots play at Ridgeview this week.
Santa Maria 3, East 0
The Blades lost a hard-fought battle on the road, with the only score coming on a third-quarter field goal.
“The defense played a great game,” said East coach Bibi Carrasco, who was making his varsity head coaching debut after being hired just four weeks ago. “The offense moved the ball well, but little things kept us from the end zone. Those are all fixable. I’m extremely proud of how our kids fought for four quarters and left it all out there. It’s only Week 1. These kids will be fine.”
Highland 39, Arvin 0
Adrian Juarez and Jojo Mata combined to rush for 299 yards and six touchdowns to lead the Scots to a road victory. Juarez ran for 133 yards and four scores on 13 carries, with Mata compiling 166 yards and two TDs on 14 carries. The Highland defense forced five turnovers and recovered two fumbles, with Bryan Guinto, Darren Maiden and Manny Veleta each intercepting passes. The Scots host Shafter this week, while the Bears will travel to Foothill.
Porterville 13, North 6
The Stars gave up a long touchdown pass just three plays into the game before settling in and playing the Panthers even the rest of the way. Andre Jefferson returned a punt 35 yards for a touchdown to account for North’s points. The Stars are scheduled to host Golden Valley this week. The Bulldogs had to miss Week 1 due to health and safety protocols.
Kennedy 45, Kerman 13 (Thurs)
Avian Pesina rushed for 159 yards and three touchdowns, including a 2-yard run that built the Thunderbirds’ lead to 38-0 late in the third quarter. Hugo Mora finished with 149 yards on eight carries, capping the game’s scoring with a 51-yard scoring run. Drake Sand opened the scoring with a first-quarter TD run and finished with 83 yards on the ground. Kennedy had 439 yards rushing as a team. Thunderbirds quarterback Julian Orozco had his team’s other touchdown, a 1-yard score, and Ronaldo Monroy made a 29-yard field goal and a team-high six tackles on defense. Sergio Gonzalez and Gamiez Helm each had interceptions for Kennedy, which plays at Fresno-Hoover this week.
Centennial 35, Visalia-Redwood 21
The Golden Hawks erased a first-half, 14-7 deficit with 28 straight points and rolled with a balanced offensive attack. Senior quarterback Levi Manning was 6 for 12 for 209 yards and three touchdowns passing, including two scoring throws to Tyler Fimple. Manning also rushed for a score and finished with 48 yards rushing. Fimple had three catches for 148 yards and Jaxton Santiago caught an 11-yard TD pass. On the ground, Tristan Flores rushed for 93 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, and Tyler Routh added 44 yards rushing and 50 receiving. Defensively, Garrett Austin had a strip-sack and Jackson McDonald returned an interception 43 yards. Brandon Ferguson and Kevin Muana each recovered a fumble for Centennial, which is scheduled to host Arroyo Grande this week.
Frontier 53, Arroyo Grande 12
Vincent Igoa threw for 167 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for another to lead the Titans to an impressive road victory. Igoa, who had four passes dropped, connected with Jaden Perez and Samuel Marquez on scoring plays, and EJ Flores added 135 yards and two TDs rushing. Perez had a 100-yard interception for a touchdown called back for an illegal block penalty just 10 yards from the end zone. In addition to his 40-yard TD reception, Marquez rushed for 60 yards on four carries. Daniel Overton added 58 yards rushing and touchdown, while Landon Heredia and Devin Cockren each ran for scores. Frontier hosts Santa Maria-St. Joseph this week.
Wasco 50, Tehachapi 14
Jason Ruiz threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more to lead the Tigers. Ruiz had 140 yards passing, connecting with Isaiah Juarez, Colin Dickson and Sean Sharp on scoring passes, and added 32 yards rushing on eight carries on the ground. Omar Tovar rushed for a team-high 124 yards on 19 carries, and Azaia Ferguson returned a kick-off 80 yards for a touchdown early in the second half. Sam Orellana had a 47-yard touchdown run, with Tylar Love rushing for a 4-yard TD to lead the Warriors’ offense. Love also recovered a fumble and Jordan Davis had a sack that resulted in a safety. Tehachapi hosts Visalia-Golden West this week, while Wasco is scheduled for a bye week.
Stockdale 27, Ridgeview 7
The Mustangs opened up a 20-0 halftime lead and cruised in their season opener. The Wolf Pack’s Aaron Martinez had three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown to account for his team’s points. Stockdale plays at Santa Maria-Pioneer Valley this week, while Ridgeview hosts Liberty.
Los Alamitos 65, Bakersfield 18
Visalia-Central Valley Christian 30, Bakersfield Christian 24
Foothill 16, Boron 7
Avenal 18, McFarland 0
Littlerock 14, Rosamond 6
Lancaster-Paraclete 41, Burroughs 0
Mammoth Lakes-Mammoth 64, Frazier Mountain 0
Taft at Kern Valley, canceled
California City at Fillmore, canceled