The Kingsburg High football team lost a heartbreaker to visiting Dinuba 27-24 in overtime on Friday night.
The important Central Sequoia League victory was the Emperors' third straight in league and was Kingsburg's second consecutive loss to a top team.
Kingsburg scored first in the OT on a 25-yard field goal by Caleb Buendia. Dinuba responded with a 2-yard touchdown run by Lucas Tuttle to win the game. The extra point kick was not attempted as the Emperors celebrated.
“It was a great high school football game between two very good football teams, unfortunately we ended up on the short side of the scoreboard,” Kingsburg coach David Wilson said. “The boys played extremely well and we had some great individual performances by Bo Jackson, Nathan Gamble and Mark Contreras. I was real happy with our effort.”
Buendia’s 9-yard TD pass to Gamble put Kingsburg up 21-14 with 6:14 left in the game. Dinuba tied the score at 21 with 1:51 left on a 3-yard TD pass from Josh Magana to Jonathan Calderon.
Both teams had chances to make field goals after Calderon’s tying score, but could not connect.
The effort by Kingsburg was noteworthy, coming against the CSL co-leaders and following a setback to the other CSL co-leader, Central Valley Christian, a week earlier.
“We limited our mistakes after (the CVC game) and there were a number of guys who made some big time plays,” Wilson said.
Buendia had a 23-yard TD pass to Contreras in the first quarter and Jackson managed a 25-yard option TD pass to Alfred Carpenter with 2:39 left in the first half to forge a 14-14 tie.
Dinuba out-gained Kingsburg 208 to 172 overall and had 21 first downs to 22 for Kingsburg.
Jackson led Kingsburg in rushing with 106 yards on 28 carries.
Contreras caught seven passes for 92 yards and one TD. Brandon Rocha (six tackles), Jackson (five) and Gamble (four) led the Kingsburg defense.
In CSL action Friday, Kingsburg (5-3 overall, 1-2 league) hosts Immanuel (3-4, 0-3) at 7 p.m. CVC (8-0, 3-0), coached by Kingsburg resident Mason Hughes, visits co-first place Dinuba at 7 p.m. in a heavily anticipated game. Also, Exeter (5-3, 1-2) invades Selma (6-2, 1-2) on homecoming night for the Bears at 7:30 p.m.