Prep football: Madera High off to fast start; plus close calls for top teams and a near upset

Madera High is off to a good start to the start of the 2023 high school football season.

That brings a smile to Coyotes coach Kenneth Paolinelli after a 48-0 victory over Madera South in the Stadium Road Showdown on Friday night.

“We’re just a cohesive unit,” he said. “We got a really good type of team that really loves each other and they love playing for each other. I think that cohesiveness has just really kind of propelled us into a winning team.”

Madera is off to a 3-1 start for the first time since 2019.

Paolinelli hopes that the success continues, but a good start is at least what he wanted.

His players are delivering, especially wide receiver Michael Pedro, who caught four touchdowns from Joel Arellano against the Stallions.

“Michael’s been that guy so far all year for us,” Paolinelli said. “He’s done it on special teams and offense and defense. I mean, he plays pretty much every snap of every play. He’s stepped up huge for us and he’s making really big plays at big times.”

Clovis West wins another close one

It sure didn’t look all that well for Clovis West — again.

That is because The Bee’s fourth-ranked Golden Eagles found themselves trailing 20-0 to Bullard.

Clovis West’s defense, however, shut down the Knights and the offense ended up scoring 21 unanswered points, capped by Tyler Patrick’s 2-yard keeper for a touchdown in the third quarter in a 21-20 victory.

“We just obviously didn’t play very good early on,” Clovis West coach Eric Brown said. “They kept fighting and they stepped up in the second half.”

Clovis West also rallied last week to beat Lemoore 27-26.

It was more of the same against Bullard.

“I have a lot of belief in our kids,” Brown said. “They’ll make explosive plays and I don’t think we’re out of any game. We got to execute better and we got to practice better and meet with more focus.”

Buchanan with a near upset

Buchanan running back Carvel Wafer scored on a 14-yard run to pull the Bears within 28-24 against No. 1 Liberty-Bakersfield.

The 15th-ranked Bears even got a chance to take the lead after Liberty went for it on fourth down at the Buchanan 29-yard line in the third quarter.

Buchanan could not get anything going and later gave up a touchdown in a 35-30 loss.

The Bears did score a touchdown with a minute left, but couldn’t get the ball back as Liberty took a knee to run out the clock.

Central rallies past Bishop Diego

Fifth-ranked Central had a tough time early against Bishop Diego-Santa Barbara.

The Grizzlies quickly trailed 14-0, but ended up scoring 34 unanswered points to win 48-28.

The points barrage started when David Marquez scored on a 10-yard run before halftime.

Central High coach Kyle Biggs looks on during a high school football game against Bishop Diego-Santa Barbara on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023.

Central kept it going in the third quarter scoring 27 points, highlighted by Fabian Morales’ 62-yard run for a 20-14 lead.

Grizzlies wide receiver Braylen Hall had three touchdowns and Marcus Nolen an interception return for a score.

Central quarterback Earl Riley passed for five touchdowns.

Close call for Kingsburg

Kingsburg avoided an upset when kicker Matt Ward made a 23-yard field goal to give the eight-ranked Vikings a 31-29 lead.

The Trailblazers got the ball back with less than a minute on their 20-yard line, but couldn’t get in field-goal range as Kingsburg held on for the win.

Game balls

Joel Arellano, Madera: Threw four touchdowns to help the Coyotes to a win over Madera South.

Hunter Babb, Caruthers: Had a monster game for the Blue Raiders when he had 29 carries for 440 yards and six touchdowns.

Dimarrea Banks, Roosevelt: He had 19 carries for 132 yards and two touchdowns in the Rough Riders’ 34-21 victory over Mendota.

Joseph Cellabos, Lindsay: Finished with two rushing touchdowns and passed for one in the Cardinals’ 22-0 win over McFarland.

Jackson Cinfel, Clovis North: He added two touchdown runs to help the Broncos to a win over Central Valley Christian.

Jordan Crisp, Tulare Union: Finished with six touchdown passes in the Tribe’s 62-48 victory over Garza.

Andre Flores, Dos Palos: He scored four times on the ground to lead the Broncos to a 41-17 victory over Pioneer Valley.

Braylen Hall, Central: Led the Grizzlies’ rally when he scored three times in a win over Bishop Diego-Santa Barbara.

C.J. Jones, Sunnyside: He opened the scoring on a touchdown reception and added another touchdown to help the Wildcats to a 23-22 win over Kerman.

Jackson Kloster, Roosevelt: He completed 21 of 27 for 296 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Mendota.

McKay Madsen, Clovis North: He scored three touchdowns in the Broncos’ win over Central Valley Christian.

Da’zir Newhouse, McLane: He had two rushing touchdowns and an interception return for a touchdown to help the Highlanders to a win over Immanuel. He also had a fumble recovery.

Tommy Nix, Clovis East: He had two touchdown receptions to help the Timberwolves to a 41-24 victory over Provo High-Utah.

Michael Pedro, Madera: Caught four touchdowns in a win over Madera South.

Noah Puga, Caruthers: He had 10 carries for 153 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Riverdale.

Deagan Rose, Clovis: Completed 22 of 34 for 356 yards and five touchdowns in the Cougars’ 38-0 win over Salinas.

Jacob Saldate, Clovis: He had eight receptions for 163 yards and a touchdown in a win over Salinas.

Tyree Sams, Edison: He had eight carries for 107 yards and a touchdown to help the Tigers to a 21-7 victory over El Diamante.

Noah Tasi, Coalinga: He threw two touchdown passes in the Horned Toads’ 24-0 victory over Reedley.

DIego Tuttle, Dinuba: Scored twice on the ground to guide the Emperors to a 49-7 victory over Selma.

Matt Ward, Kingsburg: He kicked a 23-yard field goal to give the Vikings a 31-29 victory over Golden West.

Jeremy Young, Roosevelt: He finished the game with two touchdown receptions against Mendota.

How The Bee did in predictions

The Bee went 3-2 in this week’s games.

The wins came from Clovis North, Liberty-Bakersfield and Sunnyside. The Bee incorrectly picked Garza and Lemoore to win its games.

The Bee’s record now is 14-6.

Top 25 fared

1. Liberty-Bakersfield (3-1) defeated Buchanan 35-30

2. Clovis North (4-0) defeated Central Valley Christian 48-14

3. Clovis East (4-0) defeated Provo, Utah 41-24

4. Clovis West (3-1) defeated Bullard 21-20

5. Central (4-0) defeated Bishop Diego-Santa Barbara 48-28

6. Centennial (3-1) defeated Ridgeview 37-0

7. Lemoore (2-2) lost to Sanger 42-13

8. Kingsburg (4-0) defeated Golden West 31-29

9. Frontier (4-0) defeated Hanford 35-6

10. Sanger (3-1) defeated Lemoore 42-13

11. St. Joseph (2-1) Sept. 15 at Nipomo, 7 p.m.

12. Clovis (3-1) defeated Salinas 38-0

13. Hanford (3-1) lost to Frontier 35-6

14. Central Valley Christian (3-1) lost to Clovis North 48-14

15. Buchanan (1-3) lost to Liberty-Bakersfield 35-30

16. Porterville (3-0) Sept. 14 vs. Highland, 7:30 p.m.

17. San Joaquin Memorial (1-2) Saturday vs. Marin Catholic-Kentfield, 7:30 p.m.

18. Stockdale (3-1) lost to Bakersfield 28-27

19. Kennedy (3-1) defeated East-Bakersfield 43-21

20. Sunnyside (2-1) defeated Kerman 23-22

21. Bakersfield Christian (1-3) lost to Shafter 35-34

22. Mission Oak (4-0) defeated Mt. Whitney 25-22

23. Shafter (4-0) defeated Bakersfield Christian 35-34

24. Bakersfield (2-2) defeated Stockdale 28-27

25. Garces (0-3) Saturday vs. Thousand Oaks, 7:30 p.m.

Central Valley Christian’s Micah Baden, right, tries to turn the corner against Clovis North during their game at CVC on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023.
Sanger’s Jaden Chanthalangsy, center, and Bryson Baker, right, combine to tackle Lemoore’s Kobe Green, left, Friday, Sept. 8, 2023 in Lemoore. Sanger dominated Lemoore in the 42-13 win.