On their third straight road game Sept. 14, the Yosemite Badgers football team (0-3) ended up on the wrong end of a 44-19 score against Fresno's Roosevelt High Rough Riders (1-3).
Despite the spread in the score, Yosemite had some positives on the night including sophomore quarterback Joey Woolsey throwing for more than 300 yards and the defense forcing their opponent to punt for the first time this season. Most importantly, the 18 Badgers came off the field with no injuries at the end of the game.
In the previous two games, Yosemite had scored first and then watched the scoreboard tilt decisively towards their opponent.
In this game, played at Fresno's McLane Stadium on a warm summer-like night, Roosevelt took the opening kickoff and five plays later scored on a 27 yard run.
After the kick-off, the Badgers started on their own 26. Freshman running back Jayson Lee carried for 11 yards on the first play, had minus four yards on the second play and then caught a Woolsey pass for 9 yards.
On third down, Woolsey found receiver Luke Blate for a 9 yard reception and a first down. Dillon Moran then hauled in a 29-yard Woolsey pass. Another pass to Lee went for 18 yards that put the ball on the 2 yard line, setting up a Woolsey quarterback keeper for a touchdown. The Blate PAT was good and the score was tied at 7-7.
Blate's kickoff went into the end zone for a touchback but the Roughriders were unfazed by the field position marching down the field again in five plays, scoring on a 25-yard reverse.
Yosemite's Moran took the kickoff to the 50 yard line but the offense went no where in three plays, forcing a punt which was downed on the Roosevelt 17 yard line.
After the first quarter ended, the Roughriders were stymied by a holding call and then after two incomplete passes, had to punt, a milestone for the Badgers as this was their first punt return of the season. The exaltation was cut short as Woolsey was intercepted on second down and the Badgers were back on defense.
Defensive back Drew Lassos had two tackles in a row and a holding penalty had the Rough Ridrs looking at a fourth down 28 yard field goal. The ploace kicker , split the uprights, making the score Roosevelt 17, Yosemite 7.
On the Badger's next possession, Woolsey threw successive 7 yard completions to Lee and Blate. After an incompletion, another 9 yard pass to Lee and the Badgers were marching towards the goal, but a completion to Cody Elam on the far sideline turned into a fumble and loss of possession.
The Badger's defense forced three incomplete passes and Roosevelt had to punt. A pass from Woolsey to Josia Madison was good for 20 yards and then another to Moran for 9 yards moved the ball into Roosevelt territory. After two incompletions, the first half ended.
Yosemite took the second half kickoff and on their next possession, had one first down on a 13 yard pass from Woolsey to Blate, but had to punt after three straight incompletions.
Roosevelt suffered the same fate and also had to punt, giving the Badgers decent field position. A Woolsey completion to Moran went for 17 yards, but, after another Woolsey to Blate connection, Roosevelt intercepted the ball on their 24 yard line. After seven running plays moved the ball to the Badgers' 40, the Rough Riders running back cut back against the grain and sprinted into the end zone giving Roosevelt a 24-7 lead at the end of the third quarter.
To start the fourth quarter, the Badgers had the ball at the 46 yard line after a Lassos kickoff return.
Aided by a roughing the passer penalty and a 23 yard completion to Moran, the Badgers were threatening to score. After two plays went nowhere, the third down snap went over Woolsey's head and he had to chase it down at the 30 yard line, a loss of 27 yards. On fourth and 30, Woolsey lofted a ball to Moran in the for the TD. The PAT attempt was blocked and the score was 24-13.
After another Blate kickoff resulted in a touchback, the Roosevelt running back rambled 80 yards for a touchdown and 31-13 lead.
The Badgers fumbled the kickoff and the Rough Riders were in the endzone three plays later for a 38-13 score.
Lee received the kickoff and broke through to the Roosevelt 46 yard line. After two incompletions, a Blate reverse netted 21 yards and a first down. Three plays later, the Badgers faced fourth and long but Woolsey scrambled and found Madison on a pass for 16 yards. On the next play, Woolsey left the pocket and found Blate in the end zone for an 18 yard TD. The PAT was blocked by a stampede of Rough Riders overrunning the middle of the Badgers' line and the score was 38-19.
Yosemite's onsides kick was unsuccessful with Roosevelt recovering the ball on their 47 yard line. Four plays later, The Rough Riders scored on a 33 yard reverse that upped the score to 44-19.
On the Badgers last possession, Woolsey passes to Madison and Blate went for 29 and 18 yards respectively but the drive stalled.
Woolsey ended the game 21 for 43 for 309 yards and two touchdowns while running for another score.
Moran had five catches for 112 yards and one touchdown and Blate had 7 receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown.
Madison and Lee each had four receptions for 83 and 41 yards respectively.
He is supported by a good sized offensive line and a
stalwart defense. The Badgers play at home for the next four games.
Big challenge Friday to slow down valley's leading rusher
The Badgers play their first home game of the season Friday against the Mendota Aztecs (3-0) who are working on a 15 game winning streak.
The Mendota Aztecs, last year's undefeated (12-0) Central Section Division VI Champions, outscored their opponents 561-104.
This season, the team averaging 36.7 points a game. This from a team that lost nine offensive starters and eight defensive starters from last year's team to graduation.
The Aztecs have defeated Stellar Prep of Hayward (48-14), Caruthers (22-17) and Fresno High (40-31). The team had a bye last Friday.
Yosemite, who have given up 159 points in three games (53 per game average), has its biggest challenge of the season in trying to slow down the Central Section's leading rusher, Edgar Segura. The 5-foot-9, 175 pound running back with the number 10 on his back, has accumalated 692 yards rushing in three games (230.7 yards per game average) and is ranked No. 8 in the section in receiving yards with 270 (2 touchdowns - 90 yards a game average).
In three games, he has crossed the goal line 14 times and is averaging 31.3 points a game for the Aztecs.
As a sophomore last year, Segura rushed for 2,063 yards and 39 TDs combining rushing, receiving and returning kickoffs/punts.
"We haven't hit our potential yet," said head coach Beto Mejia. "We're going to get better as the season goes on and our goal is to win the D-VI championship again."
Retired Yosemite Unified School District Superintendent and Badger football coach Steve Raupp will be honored during half time of Friday's Yosemite-Mendota game as the playing field at Badger Stadium officially becomes "Raupp Field."
Raupp was first hired by Yosemite High in 1978 as a coach and a business teacher.
In 1983, he coached the Badgers at home in a 10-6 upset over then two-time defending CIF champions Dos Palos who entered the game with a 29 game win streak. The teams shared the league title that year. The following year, Raupp and the Badgers went to Dos Palos, again beating them 14-10 and ending the Broncos home win streak 67.
That year, Yosemite set a school record season that still stands today - Seven shutouts, giving up just 33 points -- least in the state that year and were ranked as high as No. 3 in the Cal-Hi small school division.
Raupp and the Badgers went on to win additional league championships in 1984 and 1987 and were in the section semi-finals four times.
Score by quarters
Yosemite 7 - 0 - 0 - 12 - Total: 19
Roosevelt 14 - 3 - 7 - 20 - Total: 44
NSL team scores
Sierra (3-0) 34 - Caruthers 0
Liberty (3-0) 35 - Fowler 25
Chowchilla (1-2) 35 - Central Valley Christian 20
Sunnyside 33 - Washington Union (0-3) 7