It was a perfect night for football at Bullard’s homecoming game at McLane Stadium. The day was October 10th 2014, and The Bullard Knights played host to the Madera Coyotes.
The Madera Coyotes are ranked number 17 in the valley. Considering they are undefeated and scoring an average of 48 point per game; The Coyotes should be ranked higher than 17. Two weeks ago, Madera faced their first Top 25 team of the season, Tulare Western, and blew them out with a score of 52-28. The second half of Madera’s schedule is much more difficult for the Coyotes. If they can manage to win tonight against Bullard, Madera will earn serious respect and move up even more in the Top 25 rankings. Jesus Jimenez is Madera’s star running back, and he sure knows how to rack up the yards and touchdowns. Madera will face their hardest test of the season tonight against the Bullard Knights.
The Bullard Knights are ranked number 8 in the valley. They have a proven track record of winning big games and containing high powered offenses. In order for them to show dominance they cannot lose tonight. A third loss at the halfway point of the season may put their number eight ranking in question. They may even drop out of the top ten with a loss tonight. They will be playing without their star running back Charles Williams, so Bullard will have to rely on the arm of quarterback Jack Taylor, the hands of wide receiver John Brown, and the legs of the two back up running backs Tanner Van Es and Sidney Washington in this one. To top it all off, Bullard will be playing before a homecoming crowd.
Bullard received the ball to start the game, but didn’t score until their second drive. A bad snap went over the head of Madera’s punter Brandon Johnson. The ball rolled and rolled and was eventually recovered by Johnson. But Bullard was quick to take the punter down, and get the ball back with good starting field position for the offense. Bullard’s running back Sidney Washington then broke a huge run that got the Knights down to Madera’s three yard line. Then, Sidney Washington finished his own drive off when he ran the ball up the middle for a 3 yard touchdown (7-0). Madera quickly answered back on the following drive when quarterback Nathaniel Nelson scrambled out of the pocket then threw the ball down the field to his big physical receiver Kris Bueno. Bueno caught the ball over the defenders head, broke a tackle, and maintained his balance to run it in for a 46 yard touchdown reception (7-7).
Madera took the lead in the second quarter when Evan Rios hit a 21 yard field goal. The field goal came after a long Coyote drive was stopped inside the five yard line (10-7). However the lead wouldn’t last long; Bullard answered back with long drive also. The Knights had a lot of successful running plays that got them down to Madera’s eight yard line. Then, they surprised Madera with a play action (fake hand-off) pass to a wide open Cavughn Stewart. It was an eight yard touchdown pass for Jack Taylor (14-10). That wasn’t all Jack Taylor would do in the second quarter as he tossed an accurate deep pass to John Brown. Brown’s sure hands ensured a 40 yard touchdown pass for Jack Taylor, his second of the game (21-10). As time was about to expire in the second half, Madera did the unthinkable when they brought out Evan Rios to attempt a 51 yard field goal. This is a distance that only the pros can make. The snap and hold was good, the kick was up, and it traveled quite a distance. The kick went through the up rights, and the field goal was good! A 51 yard field goal for Evan Rios (21-13)!
Madera received the ball to begin the second half, and disaster immediately struck. Before the smoke can clear from the halftime festivities, Bullard scored a touchdown. Nathaniel Nelson’s pass to his running back was tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by Knights linebacker Ben Baker. Baker then turned up his speed and ran it in for a 35 touchdown (28-13). On the following kickoff, Madera’s running back Jesus Jimenez had a great return that gave the Coyotes great field position. Jesus Jimenez then finished off his own drive when he ran it up the middle for a three yard touchdown run (28-20). Bullard answered back when John Brown had a good kickoff return of his own. Madera kicker Evan Rios saved the return from being a touchdown. The drive was then stalled and Bullard had to settle for three points. Brandon Simonian made a 35 yard field goal to increase the Knights lead to 11 points (31-20). The following drive for Madera proved to be productive when a huge run by Jesus Jimenez set up a Coyotes field goal. Madera’s Evan Rios hit a 32 yard field goal just before the third quarter ended (31-23).
The Coyotes went wild in the fourth quarter, as the defense played more aggressive. Bullard quarterback Jack Taylor’s pass was dramatically intercepted by Madera. This gave Madera hope that they could actually win this contest, and emotion began to fill their sideline. After the interception, the Coyotes drove the ball down the field and scored. After the Knights bit on the fake handoff, Chris Chapa was wide open in the end zone for an easy eight yard touchdown reception. The failed two point conversion reduced Bullard’s lead just down to two points (31-29). Bullard was unable to do anything with the ball on the next drive, and had to punt it back to Madera with three minutes left. Madera put on a clinic, by completing passes successful runs. They were able to get the ball in field goal range. This set up the biggest field goal of the year for Evan Rios. He was called on the field on fourth down to attempt a 37 yard field goal with just over a minute left in the game. The snap and hold was good, the kick was up, and as always Rios delivered with a successful field goal that went right down the middle (32-31). Madera’s sideline went wild and crazy! But they couldn’t celebrate just yet, as Bullard still had one more chance to win this game. Bullard’s quarterback Jack Taylor completed a huge long pass to receiver John Brown. This put the Madera fans on the edge of their seats. Every play built up the intensity. Madera’s Defense was able to put down the clamps and stop Bullard on fourth down. Time expired, and Madera won 32-31, in a game that was exciting for all four quarters. The prideful Madera fans proudly chanted “six and O”, and “Undefeated”. Bullard falls to 3-3, and Madera stays undefeated at 6-0.
Bullard was without their star running back Charles Williams, and it seemed to hurt the team. The Knights weren’t able to get first downs as easily, therefore, couldn’t control the tempo of the game. Without Charles Williams, Bullard relied more on the passing game. This enabled Madera to blitz the quarterback more often. The pressure was on QB Jack Taylor the entire night despite his two touchdown passes. Next week Bullard plays Madera South and should win that game. But the three games after that will be against tough teams (Memorial, Sanger, and Edison). I don’t see Bullard going 3-7, but it is possible that they could end up with a non-winning record by the end of the season. The team needs Charles Williams back; he is a major difference maker for the Knights, and their best chance at finishing 7-3 this season.
Madera just defeated their biggest challenge of the season thus far. Nobody really believed Madera could beat Bullard. Nobody really believed Madera was a legitimate undefeated team. After all, their competition wasn’t nearly as talented as Bullard. But why not them? Why not Madera? They have a composed quarterback, two or three talented wide receivers, a beast running back, and an aggressive defense. Madera’s next three opponents (Memorial, Sanger, and Edison) are going to reveal a lot about this Coyote team. Can they remain undefeated? If so, where will they rank at the end of all this? No matter how you slice it, Madera is a team to be reckoned with. The next few weeks will answer how good they truly are compared to the rest of the Central Valley talent.
Passing- Jack Taylor: 5-14, 103 yds, 2 TD’s, 1 int
Rushing- Tanner Van Es: 16 car, 71 yds
Receiving- John Brown: 2 rec, 76 yds, 1 TD
Passing- Nathaniel Nelson: 15-24, 230 yds, 2 TD’s
Rushing- Jesus Jimenez: 18 car, 112 yds, 1 TD
Receiving- Kris Bueno: 7 rec, 138 yds, 1 TD
Top 25 week 6 results:
(1)Edison 44, (11)Memorial 14 – Edison: D. Lockhart: 15 car, 125 yds, 3 TD’s
(2)Bakersfield 51, Garces 0 – Bakersfield: First shut out of the season
(3)Ridgeview 55, Golden Valley 17 – Ridgeview: Undefeated on the road
(4)Liberty-Bakersfield 38, (24)Frontier 0 – Liberty: First shut out of the season
(5)Clovis North 32, (14)Clovis West 0 – Clovis North: First shut out of the season
(6)Hanford 35, (25)Redwood 21 – Hanford: Remains Undefeated
(7)Lemoore 56, Golden West 31 – Lemoore: Remains Undefeated
(12)Dinuba 17, (9)Central Valley Christian 0 – Dinuba: Michael Wright: 21 car, 186 yds, 1 TD
(10)Central 35, (18)Buchanan 14 – Central: Tamar Johnson: 2 receiving touchdowns
(13)Mission Oak 42, Porterville 20 – Mission Oak: Jeffery DeMacabalin: 24 car, 115 yds
(15)Liberty-Madera 83, Yosemite 7 – Liberty: Wade Wallace: 3 TD’s
(16)Clovis 61, Clovis East 35 – Clovis: Samir Allen: 17 car, 179 yds, 1 TD
(23)Stockdale 16, (19)Centennial 14 – Stockdale: Next game vs. Liberty-Bakersfield
Chavez 27, (20)Bakersfield Christian 10 – Chavez: Damin Avila: 22 car, 128 yds, 1 TD
(22)Tulare Western 28, Delano 2 – Tulare Western: Jordan Padilla: 3 total TD’s
Bye: (21) El Diamante
Hoover 23, Fresno 22 – Hoover: D. Gilchrist: 5 rec, 94 yds, 1 TD
Reedley 22, Roosevelt 21 – Reedley: Kevin Valladares: 13 car, 114 yds, 2 TD’s
Sunnyside 60, McLane 6 – Sunnyside: Malcolm Williams: 21 car, 278 yds, 3 TD’s
Caruthers 64, Minarets 20 – Caruthers: Uriel Arredondo: 12 car, 172 yds, 1 TD
Dos Palos 21, Mendota 20 – Dos Palos: Raphael Stewart: 2 rushing TD’s
Chowchilla 28, Kerman 18 – Chowchilla: Undefeated at home
Firebaugh 34, Tranquility 27 – Firebaugh: Chris Lopez: 5 rec, 104 yds, 1 TD
Sierra 33, Washington Union 21 – Sierra: Tristan Rehorn: 18 car, 108 yds, 2 TD’s
Avenal 28, Coalinga 22 – Avenal: First victory against Coalinga in 23 years
Sanger 41, Madera South 0 – Sanger: two straight shutout victories
Fowler 41, Parlier 13 – Fowler: Thomas Valle: 3 rec, 81 yds, 1 TD
Featured game of week 7: Clovis North Broncos @ Clovis East Timberwolves
(Scores, stats, and rankings courtesy of Maxpreps.com, and The Fresno Bee)
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