The Yosemite Badgers defeated the host Minarets Mustangs 38-10 on a balmy Friday night in O’Neals. The Mustangs (0-2, 0-0) held an early 10-8 lead in the first quarter but YHS (3-0, 0-0) scored 30 unanswered points to get the win.
Badger running back Nic Harper ran for 147 yards, one touchdown and four 2-point conversions. Holden Eames scored on an interception return for a touchdown. Eames, just a sophomore, now has four picks with three touchdown returns this season.
Running back Tyson Ellis was a beast for the Mustangs. Ellis led all rushers with 266 yards on 24 carries averaging 11 yards per carry and scoring one touchdown.
“We simply had too many turnovers and penalties,” Minarets coach Becher Marr said. “We came out strong but fumbles will always hurt you.” Overall, MHS lost two fumbles and two interceptions.
It was a back and forth first quarter. Minarets struck first on a 25-yard field goal by Zach Redman. Eames scored Yosemite’s first touchdown on a 30-yard interception return. A 2-point conversion by Harper made it 8-3. Ellis took it to the house on a 67-yard run and Minarets led 10-8 with 4:52 left in the first. From there it was all YHS.
The Badgers took the lead on their next possession. Starting at their own 5-yard line, YHS running back Kyler Schaeffer had four carries for 79 yards. YHS quarterback Tyson Mansfield hit wide receiver Steven Baker for a 12-yard touchdown. Baker made his first start of the season due to injury. Another Harper 2-point conversion put YHS up 16-10 after the first quarter.
YHS scored two touchdowns before halftime. Schaeffer scored on a 7-yard run after a 68-yard punt return by Harper. Later on a broken play Mansfield pitched a shuffle pass to Harper as he was being tackled. Harper then ran around the right side for a 31-yard touchdown. Yosemite took a comfortable 30-10 lead at the half.
In the third quarter, Badger tight end Ethan Coffman caught two passes for 74 yards. Mansfield connected with tight end John Nisar for an 8-yard touchdown pass to complete the scoring.
Passing: Tyson Mansfield 6-13-131-3 TDs.
Rushing: (team overall 43-256): Nicholas Harper 27-147, Kyler Schaeffer 9-93, Kevin Welborn 1-9, Tyson Mansfield 5-7.
Receiving: Ethan Coffman 2-61, Steven Baker 2-31, Nicholas Harper 1-31, John Nisar 1-8.
On defense the Badgers had some solid performances limiting the Mustang offense to 10 points. Justin Micallef led YHS with 10 tackles. Jaydn Carter and Caleb Burke each had 4 tackles. Carter had 2 pass deflections while in single coverage all night. “Jaydn played well, especially being in single coverage against (Zack) Redman,” defensive coordinator Erik Peterson said. “I thought the defense did well overall.”
Passing: Marty Urroz 6-15-87-0 TD-2 INT
Rushing: (team overall 27-267) Ellis 24-266
Receiving: Zack Redman 3-34, Preston Conti 1-42, Rhett Sampler 1-6, Ellis 1-5.
Defensively Redman had a game-high 11 tackles for the Mustangs. Nick Taylor had 8. Boston Cisneros and Ellis each had 7 tackles.
Yosemite JV defeats Minarets
Badger quarterback Rodney Von Wagner broke a 6-6 tie with an athletic 35-yard touchdown run with just 50 seconds left and the YHS JV defeated Minarets 12-6.
It was 6-6 at the end of the first quarter. YHS RB Garrett McMechan scored on a 1-yard TD. Nick De La Cruz answered with a 9-yard touchdown run for Minarets.
It stayed like that until YHS (1-2) got the ball at its 19-yard line with 4:41 left in the game. The Badgers went to speedy running back Jonis Carter. Carter responded by ripping runs of 36 and 26 yards to set up Wagner’s winning scramble on a broken play.
Badger Jose Elvira recovered a fumble by Minarets (0-2, 0-0) on the ensuing kickoff to seal the win.
Defense and mistakes dominated most of the game.
Carter ended up with 62 yards on eight carries. McMechan led all rushers with 140 yards on 23 carries and a TD. Wagner had 39 yards on the ground but didn’t complete a pass. Overall YHS rushed for 241 yards.
Minarets JV stats were unavailable.
Minarets travels to Tranquility
Minarets plays at Tranquillity on Friday, Sept. 7. (JV 5 p.m. and Varsity 7 p.m.) The Tigers of the West Sierra League are 0-3 in 2018. Tranquillity has been outscored 136-13.
The Mustangs defeated Tranquility 55-14 in 2017. Minarets will be looking for a breakout game on offense. The Tigers will have to find a way to stop Mustang running back Tyson Ellis who ran all over the Badgers for 266 yards. Receivers Preston Conti and Zack Redman should have a big night if quarterback Marty Urroz gets the time to throw.
Badgers take on Grizzlies
The Badgers travel to the Mariposa Fairgrounds to face the Grizzlies (1-1, 0-0). Mariposa defeated Minarets 15-13 in their opener. MHS lost 10-9 last week at Summerville-Tuolumne City of the Mother Lode League of the Sac-Joaquin Section.
Since renewing an old rivalry in 2016 the Badgers have defeated the Grizzlies 51-38 in 2016 and 41-14 last year at YHS.
Mariposa had to make adjustments in the late summer. Former head coach Ryan Oliphant stepped down prior to the start of the season due to health reasons. Longtime assistant Robert Stitt has taken over. Quarterback Jake Swift has two varsity starts.
While the Grizzly offense is being worked out the defense has stepped up. Mariposa is allowing only 11 points per game. The Grizzlies will be tested by an YHS offense that has put up 90 points in their last two games. Still, Mariposa is a physical team with a good run defense that plays hard until the last snap. Winning at the Fairgrounds is never easy.
Logan Donati leads the Mariposa rushers and Christian Stockwell is the leading receiver for MHS.