The Selma High football team faced its biggest test of the season Friday night – and the Bears came through at the end against Dinuba to preserve their perfect season.
Jordan Dominguez plowed straight up the middle for the winning 2-yard touchdown with 3:58 left in the game as Selma prevailed 28-21 in the back-and-forth Central Sequoia League matchup.
Tiveon Stroud returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for a score to put the Bears (7-0, 2-0) on the board first, but the Emperors (4-3, 0-1) answered with 9-yard touchdown pass by Gustavo Villareal to Nathan Carrion to tie it 7-7 in the second quarter.
Dominguez put Selma, ranked No. 16 in The Bee’s Central Section Top 20 and No. 1 in Division IV, back up with a 10-yard touchdown run, but Dinuba blocked the extra point then took a 14-13 lead at halftime on a 31-yard scoring pass by Villareal to Israel Garcia.
The Bears re-took the lead 21-14 on a 40-yard touchdown run by Junior Ramirez followed by a 2-point conversion run by Oscar Diaz, but Villareal hit big for his third touchdown pass of the game, 74 yards to Joseph Saldivar-Mangana to tie things up again early in the fourth quarter.
Villareal finished with 295 passing yards (13 of 25) for Dinuba. For Selma, Ramirez passed for 152 and ran for 73 while Dominguez rushed for 68.
Jalen Cropper and Christopher Soria made the most of limited touches, scoring a pair of touchdowns each as the No. 7 Apaches joined three other section teams at 7-0 by beating the Stallions.
Cropper scored on his only reception, a 21-yard pass from Jacob Tijerina in a 21-point first quarter, and on a 52-run in the third while rushing three times for 86 yards as D-II top-ranked Sanger improved to 2-0 in the County/Metro Athletic Conference.
After an 18-yard pass from Madera South’s Jonah Johnson to Jacob Kirkpatrick cut the lead to 21-7 in the second quarter, Soria found the end zone twice before halftime on a 3-yard run and his lone catch, a 3-yarder from Tijerina. Soria rushed six times for 47 yards.
Johnson was just 5-of-17 passing against a Sanger defense that has allowed only 95 points this season, but did rush for 115 yards for the Stallions (2-5, 0-2).
Ontario Wells had a monster game, returning the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown then tacking on scoring runs of 80 and 60 yards to lead the No. 8 Knights to a victory over the winless Coyotes after two straight losses.
Jack Taylor threw three touchdown passes in the first half – to Bradley Jorge, Marcus Fulcher and Dylan Zarate – to help build a 35-0 lead for Bullard (3-4, 1-1 CMAC) after setbacks against Sanger and Clovis West.
Senior linebacker Erick Kroll scooped up a fumble and returned it 20 yards for the score for a 28-7 second-quarter lead as the No. 12-ranked Broncos steamrolled the winless Timberwolves (0-7, 0-2) in a Tri-River Athletic Conference game at Lamonica Stadium.
Jordan Ayerza opened the scoring for Clovis North (4-3, 1-1) with a 10-yard run in the first, and Brent Bailey connected with Chad Fugman on a 12-yard TD pass for 14-0 advantage in the last minute of the first period.
Bailey threw for three more touchdowns, including 75-yard bomb to Fugman in the second quarter.
The No. 19-ranked Trailblazers (6-1, 2-1 West Yosemite League) got the tie-breaking points in a most unusual fashion to beat the No. 14 Bullpups (4-4, 2-2).
Golden West tied it 21-21 with 3:25 left on Ian Kelly’s 3-yard, fourth-down touchdown run.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Hanford return man retreated into his own end zone to down the ball – a safety worth two points for the Trailblazers, who also received the ball on a free kick and finished off the victory.
Jordan Perryman scored two first-half rushing touchdowns for the host Bullpups.
The visiting Rough Riders (1-6, 1-1 North Yosemite League) gave coach Atnaf Harris his first victory.
Jack Foote scored three touchdowns to help the visiting Tigers (2-6, 2-2 WYL) beat the Pioneers (3-4, 2-1) at Mineral King Bowl in Visalia.
The host Hawks (3-4, 2-0 East Yosemite League) stopped the Marauders (2-5, 0-2) on the first overtime possession, then Carlos Rivera kicked a 24-yard field goal for the win.
Mission Oak’s Luis Hernandez got a sack on the first play of overtime to push Monache into a second-and-23 that it couldn’t recover from.
Bobby Moscorro had a 14-yard run to the 9-yard line to set up the Hawks for Rivera’s winning kick.
Mission Oak forced overtime with a touchdown with 33 seconds left, Matt Bridges connecting with his older brother John Bridges for a 1-yard touchdown. Monache had a pass broken up in the end zone on the final play of regulation.
Earlier, Mission Oak’s Keon Jefferson and Monache’s Josiah Robles each scored two touchdowns.
The host No. 20 Tribe (6-1, 2-0 EYL) scored with 34 seconds left to beat the Tigers (2-5, 0-2). The teams were never separated by more than a touchdown.
The host Panthers (5-3, 2-0 North Sequoia League) stopped the Redskins’ 2-point attempt that would’ve tied it with 1:25 left, handing D-IV second-ranked Chowchilla (6-1, 1-1) its first loss and avenging last year’s Central Section championship defeat.
Washington led 23-7 at halftime scoring all of its points after Redskin turnovers. The big play was Noah Beukers’ strip and 85-yard fumble return for a touchdown.
It was the Panthers’ second straight NSL win over Chowchilla, but the Redskins won last December in Easton to advance to the state playoffs.
Senior Christian Baker rushed for three touchdowns, the first of which capped a 27-0 run to open the game, as the Hawks (4-3) ran away from the Chieftains (4-3) in a North Sequoia League opener.
Liberty has won four straight after opening 0-3, outscoring opponents 194-61 during the streak. Kaleb Roth rushed for 137 yards on 12 carries, including a touchdown for the Hawks, Baker finished with 26 yards on 11 carries.
The host Vikings (6-1, 2-0 CSL) scored three second-half touchdowns to rally past the Cavaliers (2-5, 0-2).
Bo Jackson scored three touchdowns for Kingsburg and Ethan Aguilar had the fourth on a reception from Anthony Sierra.
Central Valley Christian got within a field goal on a touchdown and two-point conversion with 3:25 left, but Kingsburg held on for the win. JJ Lino threw touchdown passes for the Cavaliers to Dustin Van Grouw, Scott Vanderwall and Gavin Salierno.
Skylar Miller passed for two touchdowns and rushed for a third as the Monarchs (4-3, 1-1 CSL) snapped a three-game losing streak with a home win against the Eagles.
Immanuel (1-5, 0-2) took a 6-0 lead in the first quarter, but Exeter’s defense held the Eagles scoreless the rest of the way.
Miller completed 15 of 30 passes for 178 yards and two scores and also had 39 yards rushing. Anthony Torres ran for a game-high 116 yards rushing on 14 carries.
Marquez Navarro’s 96-yard touchdown run helped tie it with 10 minutes left in the first half, erasing the last of what was a 14-0 deficit, and the second of Junior Cardenas’ four touchdown passes gave the Aztecs (7-0, 2-0 West Sierra League) the lead for good as they pulled away from the Eagles (6-1, 1-1) in a showdown of teams ranked Nos. 1-2 by The Bee in Division V.
Quarterback Julian Sweidy threw two touchdowns and ran in three more as the Redcats (3-4) pounded the Titans (3-4) in a nonleague win at home.
Elijah Galindo opened the scoring on a 2-yard touchdown rush and added another score in the second quarter on a 9-yard run for a 34-7 lead at the half.
Sweidy finished 8 for 9 passing for 157 yards to go with 93 yards rushing on 10 carries. Galindo ran for a game-high 97 yards rushing on 22 attempts.
Jeromy Blackwell moved to 100-78 in 16 seasons as Spartans coach, becoming the eighth to reach that milestone while coaching in the section, according to historian Bob Barnett.
It also moved D-VI top-ranked Strathmore (7-0, 2-0) alone into first place alone in the East Sequoia League. Sierra Pacific (3-4) is among a group of four teams at 1-1 in the league.