Yosemite High (1-4) made the two hour bus trip south to face the Monarchs of Exeter High School (4-2) in the second game of a tough four game road trip. On this journey Yosemite will face two section titlists and two perennial playoff teams. The Monarchs would prove another solid test. In a game that was over early, the Monarchs blew out Yosemite 68-8.
The visiting Badgers played in a tough place. For the Badgers, it was the second straight game the Badger's defense gave up 60-plus points. Yosemite faced a bigger, stronger, and faster team that scored on virtually every possession. Exeter suited up nearly 50 players versus Yosemite's 20. The Badgers also faced their second straight school homecoming. The Monarch crowd was loud and boisterous.
"We just had too many turnovers again," stated Badger head coach Kent Lincoln. "Like Mendota, we spotted them too many points early on. We ran more to try and control the clock, but our mistakes killed us. We will continue to work on correcting this."
The Monarchs wasted no time scoring. On their first drive Exeter scored on a 38-yard pass from quarterback Adin Trujillo to Chad Zeibak. Yosemite continued its turnover binge on their next two series. Junior quarterback Joey Woolsey threw the first of his two interceptions.
Exeter gained possession on the YHS 40 and from there running back Austin Cardoza took a pitch-out and sprinted 46 yards for the touchdown. Cardoza would finish with over 200 yards of rushing for the second straight game.
Things got worse for Yosemite. After the ensuing kickoff, Yosemite took over at their own 20, and on the first play of the drive, Woolsey threw an ill-advised pass in the flat. It was picked off by Monarch linebacker Chris Cox who went 26 yards for another score. Exeter was quickly up after the first quarter 21-0.
Early in the second quarter, Yosemite got on the board as linebacker Braveheart Sauceda and Cameron Monahan tackled Trujillo in the end zone for a safety. From there, however, the Monarch onslaught would continue. Exeter would score four straight touchdowns, running and throwing, taking the Badgers out of the game. The Monarch fans would celebrate halftime homecoming festivities with Exeter up 49-2.
With the Badgers out of it, mercifully, a running clock was imposed. The Badgers did put together a scoring drive in the fourth with Woolsey connecting with wide out Drew Lassos on a four-yard touchdown. Lassos was Yosemite's leading receiver for the night.
Runningback Leo Mesa got tough yards in replacement duty for sophomore Jason Lee who left the game with a reoccurring shoulder injury.
"I thought we had some good individual performers," Lincoln said. "Leo (Mesa) played great on both sides of the ball. Joe DePaz also ran well and he adds much needed depth."
Exeter won the JV game 52-0.
The Badgers third straight road game Friday may prove its most difficult test of the season to date. Yosemite will take a short bus ride to Avenue 12 for its NSL opener against the D-V power Liberty-Madera Ranchos Hawks. Game times: JV 5 p.m., varsity 7 p.m. The Hawks own two-straight CIF D-V football titles. Liberty, led by head coach Mike Nolte, is off to a 5-0 mark this season and has won 11 straight games dating back to last season.
"Liberty will be real tough," Lincoln said. "They run the Wing T and have two good backs. We have to stop the run to have any chance."
The Hawks average 250 yards per game on the ground. The running game is led by juniors Ricky Brandt (358 yards - five touchdowns) and Wade Wallace (282 yards - three touchdowns).
Junior quarterback Zach Richey has thrown for six touchdowns with no picks while completing nearly 70% of his passes.
North Sequoia League preseason records