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Central Section Top 15 high school football rankings (10-2-2023)

Clovis North's resounding 31-21 win over third-ranked Clovis East keeps the Broncos firmly at No. 1

In the game of the year so far in the Central Section, No. 1 Clovis North outscored No. 3 Clovis East 17-7 in the 3rd quarter on their way to a 31-21, hard hitting win in front of a huge crowd at historic Daryle Lamonica Stadium. The ground and pound mantra of the Broncos was on full display with two scoring drives that took over seven minutes of clock.

And how about those other openers for the Tri-River Athletic Conference, the top league in the section.

A batted ball in the end zone in OT lifted No. 7 Clovis to a 38-37 win at No. 5 Central and No. 4 Clovis West impressed in a 33-7 home win over No. 11 Buchanan.

Lemoore, whose only two losses are to Clovis West and No. 5 Sanger, re-enters the ranking at No. 12 after an impressive 32-21 at Tulare.

In addition to Clovis North, the remaining undefeated teams in the Central Section are No. 6 Frontier (6-0) and No. 15 Shafter (7-0).

1. Clovis North (6-0)

Last week rank: 1

Last week: Defeated Clovis East 31-21

Next game: Friday at Clovis

Andrew Chavez rushed for two touchdowns and Vincent Cordoba rushed for a score and caught a 59-yard TD pass from Mario Cosma in the third quarter to pull away in a 31-21 over No. 3 Clovis East. McKay Madsen and Trent Rodgers intercepted passes in the second half in a game the Broncos carried the ball 56 times for 216 yards.

Clovis North quarterback Mario Cosma. Photo: Bobby Medellin

Clovis North quarterback Mario Cosma. Photo: Bobby Medellin

2. Liberty-Bakersfield (5-1)

Last week rank: 2

Last week: Defeated Garces 41-13

Next game: Friday at Stockdale

Cole O’Brien threw three touchdown passes and Brock Wattenburger returned the second half kickoff 80 yards for a score as the Patriots blew by the Rams 41-13. Mekhi Deluth added a 14-yard TD run and Jamel Davis returned an interception 65 yards for a TD.

3 Clovis East (5-1)

Last week rank: 3

Last week result: Lost to Clovis North 31-21

Next game: Friday at Clovis West

Tied at 14 at half to No. 1 Clovis North, the Timberwolves turned the ball over twice in the second half en route to a 31-21 defeat at home. Ty Miller tossed two TDs to Harold Duvall and Tommy Nix scored on a 37-yard run on the game’s opening possession. The defense held the Broncos to 3.8 yards per carry, well below their average of 9.4.

4. Clovis West (5-1)

Last week rank: 6

Last week result: Defeated Buchanan 33-7

Next game: Friday home against Clovis East

Tyler Patrick tossed three touchdowns to Washington State commit Landon Wright and the Golden Eagles defense allowed only 45 passing and 152 rushing yards in a 33-7 win over Buchanan. Patrick threw a total of four TDs and had 355 passing yards.

5. Sanger (5-1)

Last week rank: 7

Last week result: Defeated Justin Garza 41-14

Next game: Friday home against Edison

Tomas Barajas recovered a fumble on the Guardian's opening drive and returned it for a TD as the Apache’s rushed for five TDs in a 41-14 win at home. Bryson Baker rushed for TD runs of 9, 10 and 66 yards and Isaiah Robles added two more scores on the ground.

6. Frontier (6-0)

Last week rank: 5

Last week result: Defeated Ridgeview 51-12

Next game: Friday at Garces

Malakhi Statler threw six touchdowns to five different receivers as the Titans blew by Ridgeview 51-12. Austin Tapia caught touchdown passes of 14 and 9 yards and Kobi Watson returned a punt for a TD.

7. Clovis (5-1)

Last week rank: 8

Last week result: Defeated Central 38-37

Next game: Home against Clovis North

Sophomore quarterback Deagan Rose ran for three touchdowns and passed for one as the Cougars won in overtime when Palmer Johnson batted down Central’s 2-point try for the win. Noah Luginbill scored on a 60-yard interception return in the second quarter to give Clovis a 21-7 lead.

8. Central (4-2)

Last week rank: 4

Last week result: Lost to Clovis 38-37

Next game: Thursday at Buchanan

David Marquez’s two rushing TDs and a field goal by Edwin Melger in the third quarter erased a 24-7 halftime deficit but the Grizzlies fell 38-37 in OT when their 2-point conversion was swatted down in the end zone. Marquez, who entered the game in the second quarter at quarterback, tossed two touchdowns–one each to Daylon Scott and Braylon Hall.

9. Central Valley Christian (5-1)

Last week rank: 9

Last week result: Defeated Kerman 52-14

Next game: Home Friday against Selma

Bryson Donelson rushed for 132 yards on 12 carries and three touchdowns as the Cavaliers crushed Kerman 54-13 on the road. Brett Kroeze passed for 187 yards and four TDs, two to sophomore Ryan Lewis.

10. Hanford (5-1)

Last week rank: 10

Last week result: Defeated Dinuba 47-6

Next game: Friday at Tulare Union

The Bullpups exploded for 47 unanswered points through three quarters at Dinuba as Daniel Gomez tossed three touchdowns to three different receivers in a 47-6 road win. Kourdey Glass scored on a rushing TD and returned an interpretation for a score.

11. Buchanan (2-4)

Last week rank: 11

Last week result: Lost to Clovis West 33-7

Next game: Thursday home against Central

The Bears were shut out for the first three quarters and fell to the Golden Eagles 33-7. Logan Sanchez tossed a 10-yard TD pass to freshman Carvel Wafter for Buchanan's only score last in the third quarter.

12. Lemoore (4-2)

Last week rank: Not ranked

Last week result: Defeated Tulare 32-21

Next game: Friday home against Mission Oak

The Tigers re-enter the rankings after defeating Tulare 32-21 on the road behind five rushing touchdowns. Kobe Green made the most of his two carries with two touchdowns and Elijiah Daley (13-132) and Daneion Hernandez (5-120) each scored once. Lemoore’s two losses on the season are to No. 4 Clovis West and No. 5 Sanger.

13. Arroyo Grande (5-1)

Last week rank: No. 14

Last week result: Defeated Nipomo 38-8

Next game: Friday at Righetti

Drake Missamore threw three two touchdowns and 12 different Eagles registered a rushing carry as Arroyo Grande took a 38-0 lead into the 4th quarter en route to a 38-8 road win. Junior Herlihy scored twice on the ground. The Eagles only loss this season was to No. 3 Clovis East 35-7.

14. Centennial-Bakersfield (3-2)

Last week rank: 12

Last week result: Defeated Stockdale 31-7

Next game: Friday at Highland

Adam Copus tossed a 50-yard TD pass to Roland Myers to open up the scoring and the Golden Hawks played solid defense in a home 31-7 win over Stockdale. Myers scored on an 11-yard run later in the first quarter for a 14-0 lead.

15. Shafter (7-0)

Last week rank: 13

Last week: Defeated McFarland 49-0

Next game: Friday home against Delano

Ezekiel Ozborne completed 10-15 passes for 187 yards and four TDs, two to fellow sophomore Marion Sloan, as the Generals blew by the Cougars 49-0 at home to remain undefeated. Sloan also returned a punt 50 yards for a TD and Jesus Vazquez and Cash Hernanez each scored on the ground.

Dropped out: No. 15 St. Joseph (4-2)