KINGSBURG – The Kingsburg High football team celebrated homecoming with a 31-0 thrashing of Coalinga on Friday night.

The Vikings excelled in all phases – rushing, passing, defense and special teams.

“I thought that on the first drive (we started to take control) even though we only got three points,” Kingsburg coach David Wilson said. “Caleb Buendia had his best game. I think that we’re improving every game and that we had a great first half.”

Kingsburg led 10-0 after the first quarter and then scored three second-quarter touchdowns to put the game out of reach.

“We just wanted to win this game for Kingsburg and all of the alumni who were coming home,” Viking defender Seth Costi said. “We wanted to put on a show for them.”

Viking two-way starting lineman Jacob Anaya was also upbeat.

“It feels good,” he said. “Getting a win on homecoming shows we can play and is good for spirit. It provides a lot of energy around the school.”

A 10-play opening drive by Kingsburg finally stalled and Buendia kicked a 34-yard field goal to give Kingsburg a 3-0 lead.

Coalinga fumbled on its first play and Kingsburg recovered on the Coalinga 40. Three plays later, Bo Jackson scored on a two-yard run for 10-0 with 6:18 left in the first quarter.

Then came the second-quarter avalanche, begun by a 34-yard touchdown pass from Buendia to Tyler Stone. The score was set up by a 38-yard Buendia-to-Nathan Gamble pass in which Gamble bounced off a tackler and picked up extra yardage.

Coalinga generated little against the Kingsburg defense and the Vikings put the game out of reach by scoring twice in the final 3:17 of the first half. The first TD came on a weaving, 52-yard run by Jackson. The second came on a pretty, 34-yard TD pass from Buendia to Mark Contreras in the left side of the end zone.

“He called an audible to a deep pass,” Contreras said. “I saw the ball and I had separation and I just made the play. I felt excited. It gave the team momentum.”

The victory was Kingsburg’s fourth consecutive after an opening loss to Golden West. It now begins Central Sequoia League play against Exeter on Friday night at Strathmore High.

Kingsburg out-gained Coalinga 409 to 120 and had a 22-6 edge in first downs.

Buendia had an impressive game, completing 9-of-16 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns, making 1-of-2 field goal attempts and punting twice for a 42.4-yard average.

Jackson carried the ball 13 times for 121 yards and two touchdowns and Nathan Gamble rushed  nine times for 51 yards and caught five passes for 79 yards. Stone added three catches for 64 yards.

It was a big day for the Kingsburg defense which did not let the Horned Frogs come close to scoring. Josh Chaves and Cole Dias led the way with four tackles apiece, Jackson and Brandon Rocha had 3 1/2 tackles each, Anaya three, Jaden Spomer 2 1/2 and Freddie Garza, Anthony Rodriguez and Costi all had two tackles each.  

John Murphy can be reached at 583-2413 or jmurphy@hanfordsentinel.com.

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