Fans at McLane Stadium were treated to a back-and-forth high school football game between Clovis and Bullard.
Clovis had a 21-7 lead, but Bullard responded to go up 28-21.
The Bee’s 12th-ranked Cougars then rallied for a 35-28 victory on Friday night, scoring 14 unanswered points.
“It was a hard-fought game,” Clovis quarterback Deagan Rose said. “We kind of beat ourselves a little bit, but I’m proud of our guys and played (well) when it mattered.
Roman Moreno’s 3-yard run sealed Clovis’ win after a 50-yard pass from Rose to Tyler Marquez that set up the touchdown.
Clovis was cruising, leading 21-7 in the first half. The Knights then ran at least five trick plays, Cougars coach Aaron Wilkins said.
“That got us,” he said. ‘What’s nice is our kids battled back and found a way to finish running the ball and Deagan Rose does what he does. He keeps us in every game.”
Bullard led 28-21 after Israel Castaneda connected with Jerren Mao on an end-around for a 20-yard touchdown late in the third quarter.
The Cougars responded with the 14-0 run, capped by Tyler Cheney’s 70-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that tied the score.
Another dominant win for Sanger
No. 7 Sanger passed another big test in nonleague play — this time against No. 6 Centennial in a 21-7 win.
The Apaches jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Jaden Chanthalangsy completed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Bryson Baker. Sanger added another first-quarter touchdown by Israel Robles on a 4-yard run.
The Golden Hawks answered when Angel Lozano scored on a 33-yard run to trim Sanger’s lead to 14-7.
Centennial got the ball back before the half and moved to the Sanger 8. The Apaches defense came up big when Jacob Niemeyer recovered a fumble.
Sanger’s defense kept Centennial scoreless in the second half. The Apaches added a touchdown in the third quarter as Robles scored on a 9-yard run.
Carlos Young had two interceptions for Sanger.
No close game this time for Clovis West
After finishing the past two weeks by escaping with victories, No. 4 Clovis West wasted no time against Edison.
The Golden Eagles defense shut down the Tigers in the first half, outscoring them 35-0.
Clovis West had a chance to keep Edison off the scoreboard, but the Tigers got a late touchdown
Golden Eagles wide receiver Jordan Pierro finished with three touchdowns.
Sanger West opens NYL 1-0
Sanger West trailed 6-0, but some fourth-quarter explosiveness was the difference.
Elpidio Gamez had a rushing and a receiving touchdown in the fourth quarter as the Hornets outscored Hoover 20-0 in the fourth quarter for a 33-16 victory.
Gamez finished with three touchdowns.
Sanger West quarterback Arion Cano threw for three touchdowns.
Other teams opening the NYL with wins include Sunnyside, McLane and Torres.
Andrew Chavez, Clovis North: He had five tackles and two interceptions and also 38 rushing yards to help the Broncos to a 23-7 victory over JSerra Catholic-San Juan Capistrano.
Jackson Cinfel, Clovis North: He had 23 carries for 185 yards and a touchdown in the win for the Broncos.
Aaron Dias, Corcoran: He had two interceptions to help the Panthers defeat Granite Hills 65-14.
Bryson Donelson, Central Valley Christian: He rushed 21 times for 365 yards and had six touchdowns, leading the Cavaliers to a 64-38 victory over Mission Oak.
Julian Fernandez, Corcoran: He had a fumble recovery and a touchdown in the Panthers’ win over Granite Hills.
Elpidio Gamez, Sanger West: He had three touchdowns to help the Hornets to a victory over Hoover.
Danny Gonzalez, Mission Oak: He threw for 393 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 52 yards for the Hawks against the Cavaliers.
Garrett Menagh, Buchanan: He rushed for three touchdowns to lead the Bears to a 31-3 victory over San Joaquin Memorial.
Da’zir Newhouse, McLane: Dazzled in the Highlanders’ 54-7 win over Fresno as he finished with three touchdowns, including a 50-yard punt return and a 60-yard run.
Jacob Niemeyer, Sanger: He had a fumble recovery to help the Apaches to a win over Centennial.
Tommy Nix, Clovis East: Starred in the Timberwolves’ 55-20 victory over Kerman when he had four touchdowns — three catches and an interception return for a score.
Jordan Pierro, Clovis West: Led the way offensively for the Golden Eagles with the wide receiver collecting three touchdowns in a win over Edison.
Israel Robles, Sanger: He helped the Apaches to a win when he had two rushing touchdowns.
Jerod Smith, Fowler: He completed 30 of 39 for 602 yards and eight touchdowns in a win over Parlier.
Ernesto Villanueva, Coalinga: He made two field goals to help the Horned Toads to a 20-15 victory over Garza.
Tanner Wilson, Sunnyside: He passed for eight touchdowns in the Wildcats’ 60-7 victory over Madera South.
The Fresno Bee went 3-2 in this week’s predictions.
The Bee lost games on Central and Redwood, who fell to Liberty-Bakersfield and Hanford, respectively. The Bee correctly picked Sanger, Clovis and Caruthers to win their games.
The Bee is now 17-8.
The Bee’s Top 25 rankings
1. Liberty-Bakersfield (4-1) defeated Central 35-14
2. Clovis North (5-0) defeated JSerra-San Juan Capistrano 23-7
3. Clovis East (5-0) defeated Kerman 55-20
4. Clovis West (4-1) defeated Edison 35-6
5. Central (4-1) lost to Liberty-Bakersfield 35-14
6. Centennial (3-2) lost to Sanger 21-7
7. Sanger (4-1) defeated Centennial 21-7
8. Frontier (5-0) defeated Independence 49-13
9. Kingsburg (4-0) Sept. 22 at Tulare Union, 7:30 p.m.
10. Lemoore (2-2) Sept. 22 at South, 7:30 p.m.
11. St. Joseph (3-1) defeated Nipomo 47-0
12. Clovis (4-1) defeated Bullard 35-28
13. Porterville (4-0) defeated Highland 48-00
14. Hanford (4-1) defeated Redwood 47-28
15. Buchanan (2-3) defeated San Joaquin Memorial 31-3
16. Central Valley Christian (4-1) defeated Mission Oak 63-38
17. Kennedy (4-1) defeated Taft 44-0
18. Sunnyside (3-1) defeated Madera South 60-7
19. Shafter (5-0) defeated Chavez 33-7
20. Bakersfield (2-2) Sept. 22 at Edison, 7 p.m.
21. Mission Oak (4-1) lost to Central Valley Christian 63-38
22. Garces (1-3) Sept. 16 at Monache, 6:30 p.m.
23. Stockdale (5-1) defeated El Diamante 22-14
24. Tulare Union (3-1) Sept. 22 vs. Kingsburg, 7:30 p.m. (Bob Mathias Stadium)
25. Arroyo Grande (3-1) defeated Lompoc 41-23