Central Section Top 25 (before the start of week 6)
1. Edison Tigers (5-0)
2. Bakersfield Drillers (4-1)
3. Ridgeview Wolf Pack (4-1)
4. Liberty Patriots (3-2)
5. Clovis North Broncos (2-3)
6. Hanford Bullpups (6-0)
7. Lemoore Tigers (6-0)
8. Bullard Knights (3-2)
9. Central Valley Christian Cavaliers (5-0)
10. Central Grizzlies (2-3)
11. Memorial Panthers (5-0)
12. Dinuba Emperors (5-1)
13. Mission Oak Hawks (4-1)
14. Clovis West Golden Eagles (2-3)
15. Liberty Hawks (5-0)
16. Clovis Cougars (3-2)
17. Madera Coyotes (5-0)
18. Buchanan Bears (1-4)
19. Centennial Golden Hawks (3-2)
20. Bakersfield Christian Eagles (3-3)
21. El Diamante Miners (3-3)
22. Tulare Western Mustangs (4-1)
23. Stockdale Mustangs (2-3)
24. Frontier Titans (3-2)
25. Redwood Rangers (3-3)
Outside looking in: Sanger Apaches
Memorial Panthers vs. Edison Tigers October 9th, 2014:
It was a perfect tempered and clear night for football at Sunnyside stadium. The Edison Tigers played host to the Memorial Panthers on a very special Thursday night.
Memorial and Edison are two of the most talented teams in the Central Section. Edison is Central Section’s number one team and rightfully so. Not only are they undefeated, but each opponent they had faced was a top caliber team. The Tigers offense is stacked with playmakers, and they are used to playing in big games like this. A.J. Greeley and Kamron Lewis are two big time speedy Wide Receivers for quarterback Hunter Swearingen. Running Backs Khai Williams and DeAndre Lockhart are quick, elusive players that add power to the offense. The Edison offense has displayed speed, and a variety of different formations. Edison’s defense also shouldn’t go unrecognized. They have allowed 20 points or less in four out of five games so far this season. The Tigers defense plays very aggressive, and isn’t afraid to put pressure on the quarterback.
Memorial is ranked number 11 in the Central Section. Despite being undefeated, it is clear this talented Panthers team hasn’t earned their respect in the Central Section yet. They fall in and out of the top 10 each week, depending on the performance of other teams. Edison is their first big challenge of the season, and will earn respect in the Central Section if they win tonight. Memorial has a lot of weapons on offense. Michael Alvarez is a mobile quarterback who can avoid the blitz, scramble, or throw the ball down field. Frank Dalena, Chris Paz, and Joey Ruiz are three of the biggest and most psychical wide receivers you will ever see on the same team. These three receivers contribute for a lot of Memorials receptions and yards. Running back Stevan Johnson is the star of this team, as he leads in yardage and touchdowns. Like the receivers, Johnson is also big in size and extremely talented. Memorial’s defense hasn’t allowed 20 points in any game this season, but they will have their hands full with a high powered Edison offense.
Edison received the ball to start the game, but didn’t score on the first drive. Both teams played aggressive defense. Perhaps a little too aggressive as both teams had multiple personal fouls called against them for late and illegal hits. The first score of the game went to Edison when DeAndre Lockhart used his speed to run up the middle for an 11 yard touchdown. After the extra point was no good, Edison had a six point lead (6-0).
The second quarter began with Memorial answering back with a big touchdown. Michael Alvarez lobbed the ball into the hands of Stevan Johnson along the sideline. Johnson then put on the after burners and torched Edison’s defense for a 66 yard touchdown pass. Memorial gained a one point lead (6-7). On Memorial’s next drive, Michael Alvarez’s pass was batted in the air and intercepted by Edison deep in Memorials territory. On the very next play, Edison quarterback Hunter Swearingen tossed a beautiful pass to the back corner of the end zone. The pass was caught by Kamron Lewis for a 15 yard touchdown pass. After the failed extra point, Edison gained a five point lead (12-7). After the touchdown, Edison’s marching band was warned for playing music while the ball was in play. They were also warned for the same things when they played Bakersfield in the FresYes featured game of week 1 earlier this year. Edison’s running game began to show its dominance in the game when Khai Williams had three huge runs that got Edison down to Memorial’s 2 yard line. Then Williams finished off his own drive when he ran it up the gut for a two yard touchdown. The failed two point conversion made the score (18-7). Memorial cut the Tigers lead down to four when outside linebacker Eric Ormande hit Edison quarterback Hunter Swearingen as he released the ball. The ball floated in the air too long and was intercepted by Joey Ruiz. Ruiz ran the interception back for a 35 yard touchdown (18-14).
At halftime, the score was 18-14; Edison Tigers with the slim four point lead. Memorial’s defense pressured the quarter back a lot, and both teams were playing aggressive defense. The question on everyone’s mind was if Memorial was going to keep this game close.
Memorial received the ball to begin the second half, but couldn’t do anything with it. They gave the ball right back to Edison. Edison’s running game continued its dominance as Khai Williams ran for huge gains and then once again finished off his own drive with a two yard touchdown run up the middle. After another failed two point conversion, Edison gained a 10 point lead (24-14). Just like the first and second quarter, the third quarter also had a lot of personal fouls. Both Defenses were playing aggressive, but Edison’s defense was able to put a choke hold on Memorial. They began to put more pressure on quarterback Michael Alvarez. The pressure caused Memorial to fumble the ball deep in its own territory, and it was recovered by Edison. Edison’s following drive was capped off by a three yard touchdown; DeAndre Lockhart ran the ball straight up the middle. Another failed two point conversion made the score (30-14). Memorial would get their next drive going in the right track, but it abruptly ended when the ball was fumbled and once again recovered by Edison.
With the start of the fourth quarter, Memorial would get another chance with the ball. But, the defensive pressure was too much as Michael Alvarez threw an interception that gave Edison the ball with good field position. The interception resulted in Edison scoring another touchdown in the following drive. DeAndre Lockhart scored from two yards out with a run up the middle. This time they did convert on the two point attempt (38-14). This split the game wide open, and Memorial was unable to recover from the huge deficit. Edison would continue with the pressure on Michael Alvarez, and they also added another touchdown. Running back #23 ran the ball in for a 16 yard touchdown run. After the failed point after, the score was (44-14). The Final score of the game was 44-14 in favor of The Edison Tigers. The Tigers improved to 6-0, and the Panthers dropped to 5-1.
Memorial had looked great all year, but Edison was their biggest challenge so far. There is nothing to be upset about; Memorial still has a talented team. The pressure was put on quarterback Michael Alvarez all game long. He was able to escape the pocket sometimes, but not all the time. Memorial was looking to pass the ball down field and utilize their receivers, but the pressure didn’t give Alvarez enough time to make those passes. Memorial should have done more screen plays, and strategies where Alvarez had a receiver or running back available to dump the ball off to in case the blitz came. Memorial turned the ball over four times, three of those turnovers led to touchdowns. If Memorial would have not turned the ball over and played safer with short passes and running plays, the game would have been a lot closer. The Panthers have to pick up the pieces and forget about this loss; their next opponent is a talented Madera Coyotes team.
Edison continues to impress. Their team has so much depth; the third stringers on that team could be starters anywhere! They continue to have a dominant running game, and just enough in the passing game to give the team good balance. The Tigers have a lot of speed and technique. They can quietly drive the ball down the field in just a few plays. Edison’s defense is hard hitting, and knows how to pressure the quarterback. They truly are the number one team in the valley, and will most likely go undefeated. Their next opponent is an eager Sanger Apaches team. Sanger has been on the outside of the Top 25, and is on verge of getting in. A win against Edison would put them in the Top 25 without a doubt.
Rushing- Deandre Lockhart: 15 Car, 125 yds, 3TD’s Khai Williams: 18 Car, 126 yds, 2 TD’s
Passing- Hunter Swearingen: 11-19, 106 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Receiving – Kamron Lewis: 4 rec, 63 yds, 1 TD
Rushing- Stevan Johnson: 14 car, 32 yds, 1 receiving TD
Team- 4 Turnovers
Defense- Joey Ruiz: 30 yard INT for TD
Featured game of week 6: Madera Coyotes @ Bullard Knights
(rankings, stats courtesy of Maxpreps.com)
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