The Exeter Monarchs (3-3) scored early and often on their way to a 55-0 blowout win over Yosemite High (0-5) at Badger Stadium last Friday. The Monarchs moved the ball at will on the ground and the air while racking up 432 yards of offense to Yosemite's 95 (including minus 5 yards rushing).
"It was a frustrating loss," said first year head coach Kent Lincoln. "We played a really bad first half, there's no getting around it. The team responded well after halftime. We had some good drives and thought we could score. Exeter beat us on the line and executed well. Their linemen were bigger and moved our guys around, but our offensive line responded better in the second half."
It was a Monarch offensive explosion, scoring seven straight touchdowns before halftime. The Monarchs ran for 246 yards, led by sophomore running back Alex Cardoza. He had 125 yards on 11 carries and scored 4 TD's, one on a 73-yard run.
Exeter got solid play from senior quarterback Cody Tilley. Tilley was nearly perfect connecting on 9 of 10 passes for 157 yards and a TD.
"We are not giving up on the run game," Lincoln said. "It is something we will continue to work on this week."
Yosemite had only one scoring opportunity when Luke Blate missed a 40-yard FG late in the second half. WR/DB Drew Lassos had 2 catches for 37 yards and some key kickoff returns. Lassos also played well on defense. Freshman RB/DB Jayson Lee has become the #1 option on the ground, but is even more effective in space in the passing game.
The Badger defense which was pretty solid against Mendota just seemed befuddled against the Monarchs. Exeter ran and threw at will with a balanced attack. Most of Exeter's yardage came in the first half. This was a Monarch team that has put it all together before their sojourn into Central Sequoia League play. Exeter is averaging 46 points in their last three games.
Three of Yosemite's five losses were to ranked teams: Calaveras No. 8 D-IV (Modesto Bee), Hanford West No. 3 D-IV and Mendota No. 1 D-VI.
The Badger JV team (0-5) was also blitzed by Exeter 57-6.
Yosemite game stats
Passing: Woolsey 10-23-2-100 for100. Rushing: Woolsey 7 (-18), Lee 7-6, Josia Madison 3-7. Receiving: Blate 3-23, Lee 3-24, Drew Lassos 2-37, Dillon Moran 2-16.
Defense: Tackles: Lee 7; Bobby McGee 6; Lassos 4; Blate 4; Cody Elam 3; Derek Jenkins 3.
Coach Lincoln reports that junior lineman Javier Campos would be lost for the season due to a broken leg suffered against Exeter. "We will really miss Javier," said Lincoln. "Javier is a great kid with a super attitude. Javier will work hard to be back for his senior season." The Badgers also get junior offensive lineman Mason Gaynor back for Liberty. "We will also get senior Cameron Simonsen back," said Lincoln. "Cameron is one of our best defenders and a leader on defense. Mason gives us greater depth. It is great to get them both back."
Four additional players will return from eligibility issues. Derek Jenkins, new to the team, made a solid defensive impact said Lincoln. "Derek had three tackles and played well in his first game."
Liberty at home Friday
The Badgers open North Sequoia League play at home Friday against Liberty-Madera Ranchos (5-0). JV's play at 5 p.m. and the varsity starts at 7 p.m.
The Hawks present a huge challenge for the Badgers as they are not only considered the favorite to win the NSL, but they appear capable of winning the Central Section D-V championship this year. Twice, they have lost the championship game -- last year to Fowler 21-17 and to Corcoran 31-28 in 2009.
The Hawks, returning 16 starters from last year's team, is ranked No. 1 in D-V by the Fresno Bee.
Last week they beat Caruthers 37-0 and have beaten Farmesville 47-6, Madera South 38-0, Fowler 35-25 and Corcoran 13-10.
The Hawks have the best scoring offense in the league averaging 34 points a game. Defensively, Liberty has allowed just 41 points this season (one TD per game average).
"Liberty will be tough," said Lincoln. "We know they run well. We will have a few wrinkles for them. We definitely have to run the ball better to make our passing game more effective."
The Hawks average 240 yards rushing per game. Sophomore Wade Wallace leads Liberty with 382 yards on 40 carries and 5 TDs. Senior backs Clay Cullins and AJ Leon have rushed for 249 and 242 yards respectively. The team is led by sophomore quarterback Zach Riche who is 23 of 49 for 309 yards with 4 TD's and no picks.
On defense, Memorial transfer Rene Luis (linebacker), Logan Pierce (nose guard) and defense backs Eddie Camberos and Wallace lead the charge.
Mountain rival Sierra (4-1) is also having a solid season under head coach Rob Hastie. Sierra is the Bee's No. 3 ranked D-V team. The Chieftains lost their first game of the year last week to Mendota 28-7.
Washington Union, last year's D-IV state champions are 0-5 while playing a tough non-league schedule.
Other North Sequoia League Scores from Sept. 28
Liberty (5-0) 37, Caruthers 0
Mendota, 28, Sierra (4-1) 7
Chowchilla (3-2) 56, Corcoran 32
Kerman (2-3) 28, Dos Palos 21
Ridgeview 41, Washington Union (0-5) 14