The Minarets Mustangs traveled Friday, Oct. 5 to face their toughest test in 2018, the powerful Blue Raiders of Caruthers High.
Caruthers is coming off a D-V section title in 2017 and is undefeated this season. Caruthers (7-0, 3-0) remained perfect with a dominating 59-0 win over Minarets (2-5, 1-3).
Facing a potent Mustang offense, it may have been the best game the Blue Raiders have put together this season. Caruthers has been on a roll outscoring their opponents 148-14 in their last three games. Currently, Caruthers is ranked No. 3 in Division V of the Central Section behind Kennedy of Delano, and Shafter according to MaxPreps.com.
“It was typical Caruthers,” Mustang head coach Becher Marr said. “They got out to an early lead. They executed well as they always do. I felt we got deflated and stopped playing hard in the second half. Our starting center, Moises Agundez, was hurt and that caused issues in our passing game. Moises is a stud and a key part of our O-Line. It was just disappointing not to play the way I know we can. We will practice hard and be ready for Orosi this week.”
The Minarets JV (0-7, 0-4) lost 58-20 to Caruthers (2-3, 1-2).
The Blue Raider defense was simply stifling. The high-powered Mustang offense was limited to just 52 yards of total offense. Caruthers held Minarets to minus 53 yards rushing. Much of the negative yardage was due to sacks behind the line of Mustang QB Marty Urroz. Minarets running back Tyson Ellis was held to 27 yards on 11 carries. Ellis had been averaging just over 100 yards a game.
Urroz was 12 of 24 passing for 105 yards with one interception. Urroz had been averaging close to 400 passing yards per game.
On the receiving end, Preston Conti caught three passes for 41 yards. Zack Redman caught four passes for 36 yards. Ellis had three catches for 27 yards. Ellis and Conti had 40 and 34 yards in kick returns respectively.
On defense, Ellis led Minarets with nine tackles including two for losses. Joseph Gonzales and Redman each had eight tackles with Gonzales having two for losses. John Alsup, Dylan De La Cruz, Alex Sexton, and Nick Taylor each had five tackles.
The West Sequoia League
Caruthers (7-0, 3-0) and Orange Cove (8-0, 4-0) are set for a showdown on Oct. 19 at Caruthers that should decide the WSL championship. Third place Orosi (5-2, 2-1) has one league loss to Caruthers.
Minarets to host Orosi
The Mustangs will host the Orosi Cardinals Friday, Oct. 12 in O’Neals. The junior varsity game starts at 5 p.m. and varsity at 7 p.m.
Minarets will have to rebound from a stinging loss at Caruthers. This is also a pivotal game for the Mustang’s playoff hopes.
Orosi (5-2, 2-1) will be a difficult test for the Mustangs. The Cardinals have outscored their opponents 236 to 162 this season.
Orosi, coached by Ben White, is in its first year of West Sequoia League competition. Both Orosi and Orange Cove are new to the WSL. Both came over to the West Sequoia League from the East Sierra League this season. Coach White’s team is coming off an 8-4 season in 2017 losing to eventual D-VI champion Strathmore. Orosi defeated Minarets 14-6 in the Mustangs 2017 home opener.
Last week, Orosi defeated Fowler 28-12 at Fowler. Caruthers defeated the Cardinals 40-14 on Sept. 21 at Caruthers. Orosi has played a strong schedule with their only other loss coming at Strathmore on Sept. 7.
For the Mustangs to win they will have to stop the Orosi run game. Orosi averages nearly 300 yards rushing per game but only 80 yards passing.
The Cardinals are led by senior running back Jerry Huerta. Huerta leads Orosi with 853 yards and 12 touchdowns. Freddi Arciga (381 yards & 4 TDs) and Ismael Perez (361 yards & 8 TDs) are a huge part of the Cardinal run game which has produced 24 touchdowns this season.
Quarterback Evan Lara has thrown for 479 yards with 3 touchdowns and 7 interceptions this season.