SELMA – The Selma High football team, after two narrow victories, needed a breather.
Visiting Reedley was no pushover, but the Bears did manage to pull away from the Pirates, 33-7 on Friday, Sept. 8 in a non-league game played in balmy temperatures.
“I’m happy we’re 3-0,” Selma coach Matt Logue said. “We’re young and we have a long way to go. We made plenty of mistakes, but we were the better team.”
The triumph pushed Selma ahead of Reedley in the all-time rivalry. The Bears have won 44 games, Reedley 43, and there has been one tie since 1899.
The game statistics were even more lopsided than the final score. Selma out-gained Reedley 252-1 and had 21 first downs to four for the Pirates. The Bears out-rushed Reedley 169 to minus-3 and had 83 yards through the air to four for the Pirates.
Selma opened the season with a 22-21 win against Kerman and a 20-17 decision against Washington Union.
Leading 17-7 late in the third quarter, Selma gained excellent field position following an interception by Ricky Mota. Bear quarterback Junior Ramirez scored three plays later on a 1-yard run to put Selma ahead 24-7 with 1:33 left in the period.
That was way too many points for Reedley (0-3) to make up against a riled-up Bear defense.
Selma had four interceptions, including two by Ramirez, one by Mota and one from Patrick Angelo. Adam Rodriguez led the Bears with 6 ½ tackles; Brian Ching and Parker Cazares had three tackles each; and Omar Gonzalez, Emmanuel Franco and Martin Lucio managed two apiece.
Ramirez also excelled on offense, completing 9-of-17 passes for 83 yards and rushing for 68 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries. Gonzalez rushed for 64 yards on 14 carries and Ching caught four passes for 42 yards.
“Things went pretty smoothly,” Gonzalez said. “We did what we practiced all week — we just transferred it to the game. We still have some kinks to work out, so we’ll get back to work next week.”
One of those “kinks” is turnovers — Selma had three to four for Reedley, but the offensively challenged Pirates could not come close to making the Bears pay for their mistakes.
“It’s a win, and it gives us just a little more experience,” Logue said. “We’re a young team and we’ll need to get better because things are going to get tougher soon”
Selma (3-0) is at Coalinga (2-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15 in another non-league game.