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Central Section Top 15 high school football rankings from SBLive Sports/Sports Illustrated (10-16-2023)

Central's 58-55 win over Clovis East sets the mark of a particularly wild week in the Central Section

The dust has settled after a wild and wacky weekend in the Central Section. The most notable result was Central outlasting Clovis East 58-55 in a game each team totaled more than. 600 yards of offense.

No. 1 Clovis North remained undefeated but it wasn’t easy. Down 21-14 in the third quarter, SBLives’ No. 6 team survived a scare from Clovis Westy by scoring three straight touchdowns, eventually prevailing 35-27. Liberty held strong to defeat Centennial 30-7 to remain at No. 2.

Sanger and Frontier, both based in D2 but will play in the D1 playoffs due to stellar records, each move up a spot to No. 3 and 4 respectively. Clovis, based on their win at Central on Sept. 29, move up to No. 5.

Central, Clovis East, Clovis West, Central Valley Christian and Hanford round out our Top 10.

1. Clovis North (8-0)

Last week rank: 1

Last week: Defeated Clovis West 34-27

Next game: Friday home against Buchanan

Down 21-14 in the third quarter the Broncos scored three straight rushing touchdowns–two by McKay Madsen–to defeat Clovis West 34-27. The team rushed for 229 yards on 50 carries and got rushing TDs from quarterback Mario Cosma, Jackson Cinfel and Andrew Chavez. They take on Buchanan, who is 0-3 in Tri-River Athletic Conference action, this Friday.

2. Liberty-Bakersfield (7-1)

Last week rank: 2

Last week: Defeated Centennial 30-7

Next game: Friday home against Frontier

Mehki Deluth rushed for 161 yards and three touchdowns and the Patriots’ defense held the Golden Hawks scoreless until the 4th quarter in a 30-7 home win. Senior quarterback Cole O’Brien was removed in the second quarter due to precautionary measures and was replaced by Clayton Turk. Liberty welcomes undefeated Frontier this coming Friday in a Southwest River League matchup.

3. Sanger (7-1)

Last week rank: 4

Last week result: Defeated Madera 35-21

Next game: Friday at Bullard

Isaiah Robles rushed for 237 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns and Bryson Baker added 141 yards on the ground to lead the Apaches to a 35-21 road win at Madera. After Madera cut the lead to 28-21 in the 4th quarter, Baker outran the Coyote defense for a 33-yard TD to seal the win.

4. Frontier (8-0)

Last week rank: 5

Last week result: Defeated 39-14

Next game: Friday at Liberty

Malakhi Stater threw for 252 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Titans to a 39-14 win at Stockdale. Statler’s TD passes went to Talen Ramirez and Landon Heredia. Brycen Tablit rushed for 98 yards and two scores, setting up a huge game Friday at Liberty.

5. Clovis (6-2)

Last week rank: 7

Last week result: Defeated Buchanan 21-13

Next game: Friday at Clovis East

Sophomore Deagan Rose threw for 217 yards and two touchdowns and Noah Luginbill rushed for a score in a 21-13 home win against Buchanan. Tyler Marquez and Jacob Saldate each caught a TD pass and Luginbill starred on defense as well with 13 tackles, including three for loss.

6. Central (6-2)

Last week rank: 8

Last week result: Defeated Clovis East 58-55

Next game: Thursday at Clovis West

David Marquez passed for 359 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 143 yards and three more scores as the Grizzlies defeated the Timberwolves 58-55 in a wild game at Koligian Stadium. Noel Felix III, Braylen Hall and EJ Morgan each caught a TD pass.

7 Clovis East (6-2)

Last week rank: 3

Last week result: Lost to Central 58-55

Next game: Friday home against Clovis

In a game that totaled over 1,200 yards of offense, the Timberwolves fell 58-55 on the road despite quarterback Ty Miller’s 441 yards and six TDs. Tommy Nix caught 10 passes for 204 yards and two scores and Miller added 100 yards on the ground on 12 attempts.

8. Clovis West (5-3)

Last week rank: 6

Last week result: Lost to Clovis North 34-27

Next game: Thursday home against Central

The Golden Eagles held a 21-14 lead in the third quarter against No. 1 Clovis North before allowing three straight touchdowns in a 34-27 loss. Tyler Patrick threw three touchdowns including two to Landon Wright and one to Marshel Sanders. Tytus Khajavi scored on the ground in the 4th quarter.

9. Central Valley Christian (7-1)

Last week rank: 9

Last week result: Defeated Kingsburg 32-22

Next game: Friday at Washington Union

Brent Kroeze tossed two touchdowns and Bryson Donelson rushed for 92 yards and two scores as the Cavaliers held on to defeat Kingsburg 32-22. Gunnar Piepgrass caught five passes for 126 yards and a TD and Donelson added a receiving TD.

10. Hanford (7-1)

Last week rank: 10

Last week result: Defeated Tulare Western 50-6

Next game: Friday at Mission Oak

Kourdey Glass rushed for 107 yards on seven carries and scored four touchdowns as the Bullpups scored 34 points in the third quarter in a 50-6 home win over Tulare Western. Daniel Gomez threw a touchdown to Glass in a game the Hanford offense only ran 24 total plays from scrimmage.

11. St. Joseph (6-2)

Last week rank: 11

Last week result: Defeated Righetti 28-6

Next game: Friday at Lompoc

Nicholas Matautia tossed two touchdowns to Colin Fasse to lead the Knights to a 28-7 win over Righetti. Carter Vargas and Fred Jordan added rushing touchdowns.

12. Lemoore (6-2)

Last week rank: 12

Last week result: Defeated Dinuba 49-12

Next game: Friday home against Tulare Western

Elijah Daley scored on the ground, through the air and returned a blocked punt for a touchdown as the Tigers rolled Dinuba 49-12. Johnny Cunha threw four TDs to four different receivers in a game Lemoore ran only 26 plays from scrimmage.

13. Arroyo Grande (7-1)

Last week rank: No. 13

Last week result: Defeated Mission Prep 10-3

Next game: Friday at Santa Ynez

Junior Herlihy ran for 101 yards and the game’s only touchdown in the Eagles’ 10-3 home win over Mission Prep. The defense held the Royals to 151 yards of offense and forced two turnovers.

14. Shafter (8-0)

Last week rank: 15

Last week: Bye

Next game: Friday Oct. 20 at Kennedy

The Generals have a huge home matchup this Friday against Kennedy (7-1).

15. Centennial (5-3)

Last week rank: 14

Last week result: Lost to Liberty 30-7

Next game: Friday at Garces

The Golden Hawks were held scoreless for the first three quarters against the defending CIF D1-A state champs before Adam Copus threw a 78-yard TD pass to Jayce Gorospe.