KINGSBURG – The sledgehammer-like running game of Golden West proved too much to handle Sept. 1 for Kingsburg High as the Blazers defeated the Vikings 28-7. The game was Kingsburg’s non-league football opener.
Christian Ortiz led the Trailblazers’ wing-T offense by rushing for 88 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. Gonzalo Rodriguez added 83 yards and two scores on 21 carries for Golden West (2-0), which defeated Monache in its opener, 49-14.
“They’re a good team, and you can’t make the mistakes we made early and beat a good team like this,” Kingsburg coach David Wilson said. “We turned the ball over and put the defense in a bad position and kept it on the field too much. Then things kind of snowballed on us. I give [the Blazers] credit, but we’re a better team than that. We’ll fix it and get better.”
Running back Bo Jackson was a bright spot for Kingsburg, rushing for a tough 59 yards on 10 carries against Golden West’s hard-hitting defense.
“We need to become a more cohesive unit and work better together,” Jackson said. “We’re a good team — we’re not worse to them, but we didn’t respond properly. Next week we have to come out and get the win and then go undefeated the rest of the way.”
They played Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” over the P.A. system after the game, and that’s all Kingsburg could do after Golden West’s dominating effort. The Vikings did not score until there were 45.6 seconds left on a nine-yard pass from Caleb Buendia to Anthony Rodriguez in the right corner of the end zone.
Golden West started fast with a 14-yard TD run by Ortiz on its second play of the second quarter. That capped a nine-play drive, with all of the yards gained on the ground.
Kingsburg fumbled the ball away on its next possession, setting up a seven-yard TD run by Rodriguez to end a 12-play, 76-yard drive, with most of the yards again gained on the ground. Kingsburg was also penalized 15 yards on the drive for a blow to the head.
Down 14-0, the second half did not begin well for Kingsburg, which was penalized five yards on the kickoff for returning to the field late. Golden West immediately went to work, driving 66 yards on nine running plays to score on a four-yard run by Ortiz to make it 21-0.
Golden West closed out its scoring on its first drive of the fourth quarter, gaining all 45 of its yards on the ground to score on an eight-yard run by Rodriguez.
Kingsburg’s lone scoring drive was aided greatly by a 60-yard completion from quarterback Caleb Buendia to Alfred Carpenter. Buendia completed 8-of-14 passes for 92 yards with one TD and one interception.
Kingsburg is at Washington Union at 7 p.m. on Sept. 8.