The Yosemite High Badgers (7-2) made the three hour trip up Highway 49 last Friday to face one of its most difficult teams of the season - Sac-Joaquin Section D-V power Amador Buffaloes (8-1, 4-1) who ran over the Badgers with 242 rushing yards in a convincing 35-7 win as running back Daylan Thetford scored four TDs.
Amador opened the first quarter with a 34-yard run by Thetford and he got his second touchdown in the second quarter on a 10-yard run. Amador, for the second time, missed the extra point and the Buffaloes were up 12-0. The Buffalo ground game was dominant all night as Amador outrushed Yosemite 242-88. YHS rushing leader Johnny Varian missed his second straight game.
Later in the second quarter Amador scored again on a one-yard run by Reese Gilmore. This time Yosemite would respond with quarterback Tristan Eames connecting with Cass Moreno for a 28-yard TD. Joe Campbell added the extra point and the Badgers were back in it only down 19-7.
Amador scored two more times in the high-scoring second quarter, with Thetford scoring his third touchdown on a two-yard run. Juan Herrera kicked a 36-yard field goal to give Amador a comfortable 29-7 halftime lead.
The Badgers played the Buffaloes even in the second half, with Thetford’s fourth touchdown (12-yard run) the only score the entire half.
Rushing: Yosemite, Luke Howell 15-58; Austen Burgeno 4-14; Dalin Haas 2-14; Tristan Eames 4-2; Amador, 42-246.
Passing: Yosemite, Tristan Eames 10-21-92, 1 TD, 1 interception. Amador, Anthony Burns 3-6-31, 1 interception.
Receiving: Yosemite, Cannon Eames 5-45; Cass Moreno 5-47; Amador, Reese Gilmore 1-16; Brandon Cook 1-9.
JV Badgers blanked 26-0
The YHS JV defense held the Buffaloes to just seven points in the first half, but in the second half Amador (5-4, 2-3) took command, scoring 19 straight to hand YHS (2-7) its fourth straight loss.
Matt Pressly, Badger JV head coach, knew his team faced a tough opponent. “The Amador program is so strong,” Pressly said. “They were physical, disciplined, and well coached. Still I was proud of our effort, especially in the first half.”
Despite Badger running back Nic Harper’s 150 yard rushing game, the Badgers were hurt by five turnovers. “We didn’t hold on to the ball,” Pressly said. “You can’t go on the road against quality competition and commit turnovers. It negated two goal-line stands from our defense.”
TJ Garner played his first game as starting quarterback, with Tyson Mansfield starting at wide receiver. Garner managed only three passes, the rest of the offense was on the ground with Harper carrying the load.
Pressly remained very positive and was excited about the JV season finale this Friday against Sierra at Badger Stadium. “Our team will be ready,” Pressly said. “The team will paint the mountain blue.”
The JV Chieftains are listed at 1-3 overall and 0-1 in the North Sequoia League. Sierra defeated the Minarets JV 25-6 on Sept. 2. YHS was a 42-6 winner over Minarets on Sept. 23.
The Mountain Bowl
The 35th annual Mountain Bowl between Yosemite and Sierra will be played Nov. 4 at Badger Stadium, with a 5:30 p.m. start time for JV and 7 p.m. for varsity.
Since its inception in 1979, Sierra and Yosemite have 17 wins each.
The Chieftains of Sierra, coached by Kenny Rose, are 4-5 overall and 0-4 in North Sequoia League play. Don’t let the records fool you. Sierra has played a tough schedule, especially in the NSL. The Chieftains have lost four in a row, but against tough NSL squads: Washington Union 38-14 (Oct. 7); Liberty-Madera Ranchos 48-21 (Oct. 14); Kerman 32-20 (Oct. 21); and last week to Chowchilla 40-10. All except Kerman were ranked in the Bee’s top three in D-IV or V at one point this season.
Sierra has played three teams YHS also faced this season. SHS defeated Minarets in their home opener 42-16 on Sept. 2, lost to Caruthers 35-21 at Sierra on Sept. 16, and crushed Parlier away 34-6. YHS defeated Minarets 50-0 away on Sept. 23, lost on the road at Caruthers 36-14 on Sept. 9, and defeated Parlier at home 46-0 on Oct. 21. On paper this has all the makings of another Mountain Bowl classic.
The Badgers will have to stop the Sierra ground game. The Chieftains have amassed over 2,000 yards rushing versus only 930 passing. Three Sierra runners carry the load: Junior Shane Maldonado has had a good season rushing for 957 yards on 123 carries, averaging nearly eight yards per touch. Maldonado has scored 11 rushing touchdowns. Senior Chris Orange (396 yards, five TDs) and junior Cameron Brady (301 yards, one TD) round out the Sierra running backs.
Junior quarterback Tristan Wilson directs the Sierra offense. And like Badger QB Tristan Eames, he is a dual threat player. Wilson has passed for 930 yards on 163 attempts. Wilson has 10 touchdowns against eight interceptions. Wilson can run as well, with 304 yards rushing on 53 attempts and three touchdowns.
Wilson’s top receivers are Cameron Brady (16 receptions, 257 yards and three TDs) junior Jordan Bonesteel (16 receptions, 252 yards and four TDs) and Shane Maldonado (14 receptions, 237 yards and three TDs).