ORANGE COVE – The Orange Cove High Titans didn’t take long to remove any drama from their non-league football matchup on Friday, Sept. 1 against their small school neighbors to the west, the Parlier High Panthers.
The Titans (2-1) scored touchdowns on their first two possessions, one a sustained drive and one a quick-strike score through the air, in the first eight minutes of the opening quarter. The lead swelled to 24-0 by halftime, and Orange Cove limited the visitors to just 110 total yards in a 45-0 shutout at Titan Stadium.
Junior Diego Salgado had first-half touchdown catches covering 62 and 16 yards, junior Matthew Covarrubias had a 60-yard scoring reception and 85 yard kickoff return for a TD in the second half while senior running back Alejandro Lopez added two rushing touchdowns. The defense limited Parlier (1-2) to just six first downs, and OC has outscored its opposition 75-0 in its two home wins.
“Our defense stepped up again, I’m very proud of the team effort,” said coach Horacio Bravo. “We have to clean up our penalties (105 yards), and our special teams play is coming along.”
Orange Cove finished with 396 total yards, with 258 through the air as junior Oscar Alvarez completed 8 of 11 for 239 yards and a touchdown and interception while senior Julian Magdaleno went 2 for 3 for 19 yards and one score. Magdaleno also booted a 31-yard field goal and was 6 for 6 on extra points.
The Titans now enjoy a bye week, and return to action with their East Sequoia League opening game on Friday, Sept. 15, at Strathmore. The next home game will be Friday, Sept. 29 against Woodlake High.
“The bye week came at a good time for us,” Bravo said. “We have an opportunity to clean some things up before we face Strathmore.”
Parlier, which has already cracked the win column this season after a winless 2022 campaign, will try to bounce back at Chowchilla High on Friday, Sept. 8 in their Northwest Sequoia League opener. The Panthers’ next home game will be Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. against Fowler High.
Kingsburg 42, Dinuba 14
At Kingsburg, the Emperors ended their three-game road trip to open the season on a losing note, as the unbeaten Vikings wiped out an early deficit with three touchdowns in the second quarter, and then blanked the visitors in the second half.
Dinuba (1-2) held a 14-7 lead on rushing TDs by Carmelo Mendoza and Julian Ramirez early in the second quarter. But Kingsburg (3-0) tied the score on a touchdown pass from Max Warkentin to Wyatt Boyd, then took the lead for good when Kenyan Simpson returned an interception 26 yards to paydirt three minutes before halftime.
After an Emperors punt in the final minute of the half, the Vikings went up by two scores when Warkentin threw a 71-yard pass to Nathan Reyes. In the second half, Kingsburg salted the game away when Warkentin and Boyd hooked up on an 8-yard score in the third quarter and then Chris Browe added a long pick six in the final two minutes.
Diego Tuttle rushed for 196 yards on 23 carries for Dinuba, but the Emperors were their own worst enemy with three interceptions and two lost fumbles.
“You can’t turn the ball over five times, two of them being for six (points), and expect to win any game,” said coach CJ Lester. Dinuba finally has a home game this week, hosting winless Selma High in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Friday, Sept. 8.
Orosi 48, Big Valley Christian 7
In Modesto on Aug. 31, the Cardinals started a season with three wins for the first time in more than a decade with the rout of Big Valley Christian (1-2).
Senior running back Andrew Camarilo had another huge night with 275 yards on 26 carries (10.6 average) and three touchdowns, the longest covering 45 yards. He continues to boost his career rushing totals and move up the all-time ranks, and now has 4,668 yards (690 this season) and 66 touchdowns including nine in 2023.
Orosi also had rushing touchdowns from Daniel Ballesteros and quarterback Lance Lopez, who also completed 5 of 9 passes for 61 yards and a score to Ballesteros. The junior running back finished with 36 yards rushing and 40 receiving, while the Cardinals’ defense collected a pair of interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Orosi had gotten off to multiple 2-0 starts and twice were 3-1, but hadn’t won its first three games dating back to at least 2004. The Cardinals have a bye this week, returning to action on Friday, Sept 15 at Farmersville High in a 7:15 p.m. varsity kickoff.
Justin Garza 48, Sanger West 14
At Tom Flores Hall of Fame Stadium, the visiting Guardians (2-1) erupted for 35 points in the middle two quarters to spoil the home opener for the Hornets (1-2).
Garza’s passing attack lit up the Sanger West defense for five touchdowns, and the visitors also returned the second half kickoff back for another TD. Hornets junior quarterback Arion Ciano threw touchdown passes to junior Vayshawn Turner (second quarter) and senior Tay Moreau (third quarter) and also passed for a two-point conversion.
Sanger West has a bye this week, and returns to action by opening North Yosemite League play on Friday, Sept. 15, in Fresno against the Hoover Patriots. Varsity kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Reedley heads to Coalinga in search of first victory
The Reedley Pirates will take a week of game rest and practice preparation into a bid for their first win of 2023 on Friday, Sept. 8, when the Pirates travel to southwest Fresno County for a 7:30 p.m. non-league contest at Coalinga High.
The Horned Toads (2-0) came off their own bye week with a 46-0 road victory at Selma High. Junior quarterback Noah Tasi accounted for four touchdowns, completing 12 of 22 for 260 yards and two TDs while rushing for 39 yards and two more scores. Gustavo Alvarado rushed for a touchdown while Gavin Watson also returned a punt for a score.
Senior running back Demetrius Vargas leads Reedley’s ground game with 347 yards in two games, including 227 yards and touchdown in a 39-32 loss to Roosevelt on Aug. 25.