Edison High welcomes four now-eligible players for Sanger football showdown

There’s no questioning Edison High as the underdog Friday night against unbeaten Sanger, other than the pile of developing positives the Tigers will bring into the County/Metro Athletic Conference showdown at McLane Stadium that they didn’t have three weeks ago.

How many?

Count:

▪ Two wins.

▪ Impact players, coach Matt Johnson says, who will be academically eligible for the first time this season in wide receiver Jayson Jackson, linebacker Oscar Cerda, defensive tackle Cory Alford and two-way lineman Amaru Roland.

▪ Momentum, above all.

“We’ve got some mojo going,” says Johnson, whose 2-5 team had been 0-5 after a daunting nonleague schedule connecting powers from Arizona (Brophy College Prep-Phoenix) to Nevada (Damonte Ranch-Reno) to Fresno County (Clovis West, Clovis North) and Kern County (Garces).

Those teams are a combined 28-10 – and against credible competition.

“As bad as the schedule was set up for us early,” Johnson says, “it actually favors us now in our goal to win the CMAC championship. And, when you go 0-5, you look for anything to keep the guys engaged, and it’s simple – the motivation of winning the CMAC championship.”

Two years removed from a 12-2 season and the Central Section’s Division I title, Edison might have been sunk, Johnson allows, had it opened the CMAC against No. 6 Sanger and No. 8 Bullard.

Instead, the Tigers are 2-0 in the league following wins over Madera (52-10) and Memorial (35-25).

“With all respect to (Madera and Memorial),” Johnson says, “we’ve bought ourselves another week.”

No doubt, but it’s a week that finds Sanger (7-0, 2-0) and one of the best teams coach Chuck Shidan has assembled in his 27th and surely final season of a 197-110 career.

Shidan, who has stopped just short of announcing his retirement, is closing in on a section 200-win club represented by Leo Robinson (290, Woodlake), Tim Simons (247, Roosevelt, Clovis, Clovis North), Ned Permenter (220, Foothill), Paul Briggs (209, Bakersfield), Mike Sparks (209, Dos Palos), Goldie Griffith (Bakersfield, 207) and Tom Casanova (203, Caruthers), according to section historian Bob Barnett. This counts victories only as a Central Section coach.

It’s an ideal, senior-based team for Shidan to go out with.

And that presents several compelling matchups against Edison, notably Apaches senior cornerbacks Aaron Mosby and Chris Soria against emerging Edison wide receiver Teyjohn Harrington.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound junior had touchdown receptions of 30, 59 and 39 last week in the win over Memorial. His season entry was slowed after breaking two knuckles in a summer basketball game.

“Give me one-on-one (defensive coverage),” Harrington says, “and I’ll take it every time.”

Other games to watch (all Friday night):

No. 2 Clovis (6-1, 1-1) at No. 7 Buchanan (4-3, 0-2): Life in the TRAC, which has four of the top seven teams in The Bee’s Top 20, caught up with both last week – Clovis losing 21-17 to now-No. 1 Central and Buchanan dropping a 23-14 decision to No. 4 Clovis West.

No. 9 Garces (5-2, 1-1) at No. 3 Liberty-Bakersfield (5-2, 2-0): Defending D-I champion Liberty has won 12 straight in the Southwest Yosemite League in three seasons, but faces a daunting finish in the conference with Garces, Centennial and Bakersfield.

No. 5 Bakersfield (5-2, 2-0) at No. 15 Centennial (2-5, 1-1): Bakersfield and sophomore quarterback Cam Williams, who’s showing flashes of Asauni Rufus 2013-type brilliance, are progressively looming large in the section. Adding to their state-leading section title total of 36 is no stretch.

Fresno (5-2, 2-0) at No. 14 Sunnyside (5-2, 2-0): Bring the North Yosemite League championship plaque to this one, and no matter there are two weeks of regular season play remaining.

Week 9 schedule

THURSDAY

COUNTY/METRO ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

Madera South vs. Bullard (McLane), 7 p.m.

EAST YOSEMITE LEAGUE

Delano vs. Monache (Granite Hills), 7 p.m.

Porterville at Tulare, 7 p.m.

NORTH YOSEMITE LEAGUE

Hoover vs. Roosevelt (Sunnyside), 7 p.m.

TRI-RIVER ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

Central vs. Clovis North (Veterans Memorial Stadium), 7 p.m.

FRIDAY

TRI-RIVER ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

Clovis at Buchanan, 7 p.m.

Clovis West vs. Clovis East (Lamonica Stadium), 7:30 p.m.

COUNTY/METRO ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

Sanger vs. Edison (McLane), 7:30 p.m.

Memorial at Madera, 7:30 p.m.

NORTH YOSEMITE LEAGUE

Fresno at Sunnyside, 7:30 p.m.

McLane at Reedley, 7:30 p.m.

WEST YOSEMITE LEAGUE

Redwood (Golden West) vs. El Diamante, 7:30 p.m.?

Golden West vs. Hanford West (Neighbor Bowl), 7:30 p.m.

Hanford vs. Mt. Whitney (Mineral King Bowl), 7:30 p.m.

EAST YOSEMITE LEAGUE

Mission Oak vs. Tulare Western (Mathias Stadium), 7 p.m.

SOUTH YOSEMITE LEAGUE

Independence at West, 7:30 p.m.

Ridgeview at East Bakersfield, 7:30 p.m.

Tehachapi at Golden Valley, 7:30 p.m.

SOUTHEAST YOSEMITE LEAGUE

Mira Monte at North, 7:30 p.m.

South at Highland, 7:30 p.m.

SOUTHWEST YOSEMITE LEAGUE

Bakersfield at Centennial, 7:30 p.m.

Garces at Liberty-Bakersfield, 7:30 p.m.

Stockdale at Frontier, 7:30 p.m.

NORTH SEQUOIA LEAGUE

Sierra at Kerman, 7 p.m.

Washington at Liberty-Madera Ranchos, 7:30 p.m.

CENTRAL SEQUOIA LEAGUE

Exeter at Central Valley Christian, 7:15 p.m.

Immanuel at Selma, 7:30 p.m.

Kingsburg at Dinuba, 7:30 p.m.

EAST SEQUOIA LEAGUE

Sierra Pacific at Granite Hills, 7:15 p.m.

Strathmore at Corcoran, 7:15 p.m.

Woodlake at Lindsay, 7:15 p.m.

WEST SEQUOIA LEAGUE

Minarets at Fowler, 7:30 p.m.

Riverdale at Caruthers, 7:30 p.m.

SOUTH SEQUOIA LEAGUE

Arvin at Bakersfield Christian, 7:30 p.m.

Kennedy at Chavez, 7:30 p.m.

Wasco at Taft, 7:30 p.m.

EAST SIERRA LEAGUE

Laton at Orosi, 7:15 p.m.

McFarland at Orange Cove, 7:30 p.m.

WEST SIERRA LEAGUE

Coalinga at Tranquillity, 7:30 p.m.

Dos Palos at Firebaugh, 7:30 p.m.

Mendota at Avenal, 7:30 p.m.

HIGH DESERT LEAGUE

Desert-Edwards AFB at Bishop, 7 p.m.

Rosamond at California City, 7 p.m.

NONLEAGUE

Parlier at Yosemite, 7 p.m.

8 MAN

Alpaugh at Frazier Mountain-Lebec, 7 p.m.

SATURDAY

CENTRAL SIERRA LEAGUE (8 MAN)

Fresno Christian at Riverdale Christian, 1 p.m.

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