The Yosemite Badger football team faced their second straight North Sequoia League challenge. After a two-year absence, the Badgers returned to the NSL in football in 2018. Coaches and fans knew it would be a step up in the schedule as well as a big challenge.
Earlier this year, NSL favorite Liberty, with a strong ground attack, ran over YHS in a 52-14 win. Last Friday, Kerman (5-3, 1-1) came to Oakhurst for the Badger homecoming. The results were virtually the same. Utilizing a powerful run offense with dual running backs and a defense that shut down the once-potent Badger ground game, the Lions defeated Yosemite 49-14. It is the third straight loss at home for YHS (4-3, 0-2).
Kerman jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. The Lions did their work mostly on the ground amassing 412 yards rushing. Senior running backs Isaac Velez (236 yards and one TD) and Colton Smith (123 yards and four TDs) had huge nights. Overall, Kerman accumulated 502 yards of total offense.
Kerman scored on all three first-quarter possessions, bolting to a 21-0 lead. Smith scored first on an 11-yard touchdown run capping off a 10-play 66-yard scoring drive. On the first play of the Lions’ next possession, Velez had a 52-yard run to the Badger 1-yard line. He scored on the next play. Later, Kerman quarterback Gavin Layton scored on a 3-yard touchdown run after Velez put the Lions in a position to score with runs of 22 and 26 yards.
The Kerman defense virtually shut down the Badger run game and pressured YHS QB Tyson Mansfield all night. The Badger offense managed to cross into Kerman territory only twice in the first half. After a scoreless second quarter Kerman went into halftime up 21-0.
Kerman went up 28-0 at the end of the third with Smith scoring on a 14-yard run. The fourth quarter was a scoring-fest. Mansfield connected with Holden Eames twice on touchdown passes of 22 and 64 yards. The Lions answered every Badger score however and more, scoring 21 points in the final quarter to put the game away.
Overall YHS had just 149 yards of total offense. The Badger run game was non-existent with minus 14 yards. It was on Mansfield to make something happen on offense. He did, throwing 14 for 24 163 yards and 2 touchdowns.
On the receiving end, Eames had a break-out game catching two passes for a season-high 128 yards and 2 TDs. Steven Baker had 5 catches for 35 yards.
Badger JV lose 34-0
The YHS JV (2-5, 0-2) were defeated 34-0 by Kerman (4-4, 2-1). It was 28-0 at halftime. Kerman put together a scoring drive that consumed nearly eight minutes in the third quarter. The YHS JV limited Kerman to just 6 points in the second half with a running clock.
Liberty (6-1, 1-0) will face off against Washington Union at home (3-4, 0-1) this week in a key NSL match-up.
Chowchilla (6-2, 2-0) squeaked by Kerman 30-28 two weeks ago. The Badgers are up next for Chowchilla but the Oct. 26 match-up at home against Liberty should decide the NSL title.
YHS faces Chowchilla
The Badgers travel to Chowchilla for their third NSL game on Friday, Oct. 12. Game time is 5 p.m. for JV and 7 o,n, for varsity. Chowchilla has been on a roll, winning four straight. Chowchilla is coached by Alex Pittz.
Chowchilla is coming off a 5-6 season in 2017 where they competed in D-III. For Chowchilla, it was a down year. Chowchilla is a fixture in the Central Section playoffs. CHS was 10-2 in 2016 losing in the D-IV final. In 2015, Chowchilla was 12-3 overall, winning the Central Section D-IV title and losing in the state D-IV-A championship to Sierra of Manteca 20-15.
Like Liberty and Kerman, Chowchilla does their work on the ground averaging 248 yards per game versus. only 89 passing. Chowchilla is led by senior quarterback Cody Woolsey. Woolsey is a name many Badger football fans remember. Cody’s brothers Bobby and Joey both played at Yosemite.
Woolsey is a dual-threat quarterback who leads his team in rushing with 781 yards on 129 carries scoring nine touchdowns. In the passing game, Woolsey is 37 of 70 for 625 yards and 10 touchdowns against only two interceptions. Woolsey has a passer rating of 111, outstanding at any level.
Senior Luciano Manzo, 20 catches for 420 yards and 5 TDs is the top receiving threat for Chowchilla.
Jordan Hornbeak (322 yards) and Andrew Young (242 yards) are other threats in the ground game. The Badger defensive front will face another tough test stopping the Tribe.