Madera High coach Kenny Kenny Paolinelli labeled the game against Garza High as chaos.
That was the perfect description of the meeting between two schools that excelled in County/Metro Athletic Conference play.
And what a fitting end to a Friday night at Koligian Stadium.
Facing fourth-and-forever, Coyotes quarterback Joel Arrellano scrambled while looking again and again for an open receiver.
Then he noticed 6-foot-1 tight end Izaak Lopez at the back of the end zone and fired a pass for a touchdown with 52 seconds remaining. An extra point gave the Coyotes a 28-27 victory.
“Just two really good teams battling each other,” Paolinelli said. “This is what a playoff atmosphere looks like and I think this is just gearing us up right into those playoffs.”
The Guardians had a chance to win, moving down the field until the Coyotes’ Isaac Contreras recovered a fumble.
Madera went into victory formation to run out the clock.
The Coyotes’ seven wins are their second most since 2014 when the team went 9-6.
Madera finished the CMAC schedule in second place.
Now the Coyotes will wait to see what seed they’ll land.
“We’re excited,” Paolinelli said. “We’re ready and you never know what the committee is going to do. We’re just going to wait and find out, be ready and prepare the best we can for the first week of playoffs.
Edison remembers McKinley Lee III
Prior to Edison’s game against Bullard, coaches, players and fans remembered former Tigers running back McKinley Lee III, who died this week.
He was 22.
The public address announcer read off a remembrance of what Lee meant to everyone in Edison’s program while a picture of his smiling face was displayed on the scoreboard..
“We come together to honor and remember a remarkable former Edison Tiger, McKinley Lee III. He placed a high value on academics during his time in Edison and was awarded senior distinction by the Fresno County Office of Education. McKinley was such an amazing soul and amazing spirit. He gave so much to Edison and the community with his charisma, his kindness and his intelligence.”
Lee graduated from Edison in 2019. He also was a baseball player “who strived to be the best” and was a “bright shining star that graced our lives.”
The Tigers went on to defeat Bullard 17-14 while dedicating the game to Lee.
Exeter, Reedley decide TCC title
The Bee’s 19th-ranked Exeter hoped to stay unbeaten.
Reedley had other plans for the Monarchs.
Just barely, in a 22-21 win as both teams are Tri-County-Sequoia co-champions with Immanuel.
Exeter (9-1, 3-1) scored a touchdown with 1:30 remaining to cut the Pirates’ lead to one.
The Monarchs lined up for an extra point, but Reedley (5-5, 3-1) was called for offsides to move the ball halfway to the goal line.
Exeter called timeout before sending the offense back out for a two-point try.
The Pirates’ Richie Camacho got through the line and sacked Jacob Molina on a rollout to prevent the go-ahead score.
The Monarchs went for an onside kick, but it was recovered by Reedley.
Chowchilla comes up with big plays
Chowchilla came up with big plays to secure an outright Northwest Sequoia League title.
Davian Stephenson scored on a 15-yard run in the fourth quarter and the Tribe had an interception in a 28-23 victory.
Dwayne Hemphill also contributed in a big way when he had a fumble return for a touchdown and followed with a 48-yard interception return for a touchdown.
League titles were decided in the final week of the regular season. The champs are:
Tri-River Athletic Conference: Clovis North
County/Metro Athletic Conference: Sanger
North Yosemite League: Sunnyside
East Yosemite League: Mt. Whitney
West Yosemite League: Hanford
Northwest Sequoia League: Chowchilla
Tri-County-Kings Canyon: Central Valley Christian
Tri-County-Sequoia: Exeter, Reedley and Immanuel
East Sequoia League: Orosi and Corcoran
West Sierra League: Dos Palos
Central Sierra League: Fresno Christian
Will Bacon, Reedley: Threw for a touchdown, caught a TD, ran for a score and made a tackle for a safety in the Pirates’ 22-21 win over Exeter.
Richie Camacho, Reedley: Made a key tackle on an Exeter two-point try that gave the Pirates a 22-21 win.
Andrew Camarillo, Orosi: He had a late touchdown and converted on a two-point conversion to help the Cardinals to a 35-34 victory over Orange Cove.
Jackson Cinfel, Clovis North: Ran the ball 31 times for 197 yards and two touchdowns in the Broncos’ 27-20 win over Central.
Daniel Gomez, Hanford: He finished with three touchdown passes, leading the Bullpups past Lemoore 27-13.
Dwayne Hemphill, Chowchilla: He had a fumble return for a touchdown and a 48-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Tribe’s 28-23 victory.
Jackson Kloster, Roosevelt: Passed for three touchdowns and ran for two scores to lead Roosevelt past Fresno 48-7.
Joshua Kubota, Fresno Christian: He had nine receptions for 147 yards and two touchdowns in the Eagles’ 42-24 victory over Orcutt Academy.
Phoenix Lawrence, Edison: Threw for two touchdowns, including the game winner in the fourth quarter of a 17-14 victory against Bullard.
Izaak Lopez, Madera: Caught the game-winner in the Coyotes’ 28-27 victory over Garza.
Dezjour Malone, Edison: Caught the game-winning touchdown to give the Tigers a 17-14 victory over Bullard.
Jacob Poole, Strathmore: Had two touchdown runs, including the game winner in a 14-10 victory over Lindsay.
Israel Robles, Sanger: He rushed for five touchdowns in the Apaches’ 55-7 victory over San Joaquin Memorial.
Deagan Rose, Clovis: Passed for two touchdowns and ran for three in the Cougars’ 48-34 victory over Clovis West.
Isaiah Taylor, Woodlake: Led off the scoring on a 50-yard run and added another TD run in the Tigers’ 41-7 victory over Granite Hills.
Adrian Torres, Kerman: He threw for two touchdowns and finished with 228 yards in the Lions’ 28-6 victory over Washington Union.
Peyton Van Worth, Dos Palos: Had the game-sealing interception and a rushing touchdowns in the Broncos’ 21-20 victory over Coalinga to win the West Sierra League.
The Bee went 12-4 in its predictions this week, picking the TRAC showdown between Clovis North and Central along with rivalry games.
For the season, The Bee is 46-20
Top 25 fared
1. Clovis North (10-0) defeated Central 27-20
2. Frontier (10-0) defeated Centennial 23-16
3. Sanger (9-1) defeated San Joaquin Memorial 55-7
4. Central (7-3) lost to Clovis North 27-20
5. Clovis East (8-2) defeated Buchanan 48-24
6. Liberty-Bakersfield (8-2) defeated Bakersfield 41-10
7. Lemoore (7-3) lost to Hanford 27-13
8. Hanford (9-1) defeated Lemoore 27-13
9. Clovis West (5-5) lost to Clovis 48-34
10. Central Valley Christian (9-1) defeated Immanuel 33-13
11. Centennial (5-5) lost to Frontier 23-16
12. Arroyo Grande (9-1) defeated Paso Robles 28-21
13. Sunnyside (9-1) defeated Sanger West 48-13
14. Shafter (10-0) defeated Wasco 49-6
15. St. Joseph (8-2) defeated Mission Prep 23-0
16. Bakersfield (6-4) lost to Liberty-Bakersfield 41-10
17. Clovis (7-3) defeated Clovis West 48-34
18. Kennedy (8-2) defeated Chavez 42-20
19. Exeter (9-1) lost to Reedley 22-21
20. Atascadero (10-0) defeated Pioneer Valley 42-24
21. Tehachapi (10-0) DNP
22. San Luis Obispo (7-3) defeated Templeton 17-14
23. Kingsburg (8-2) defeated Selma3 8-6
24. Mission Prep (7-3) lost to St. Joseph 23-0
25. Garces (5-5) defeated Stockdale 34-7