SELMA – Running back Tiveon Stroud made his first appearance in a Selma High football uniform this season on Friday night against Roosevelt, but it was the Bear defense that stole the show.
The Selma defense limited Roosevelt to 164 yards and 10 first downs in a 19-6 non-league win against the Rough Riders on a fall night with a slight chill in the air.
“Our defensive line was fantastic,” Selma coach Matt Logue said. “We were all over their quarterback, and I think he got a little rattled.”
The Selma defense also forced three turnovers while the Bears had none.
“We watched a lot of film – and that’s the best tool you can have,” Selma defensive lineman Parker Cazares said. “We watched it every day and we knew where the ball was going.”
For Selma defensive end Emmanuel Franco, it was a matter of keeping his eye on the prize.
“We stayed focus and we didn’t let up,” he said. “I think we also wanted it more.”
The Bears were not overwhelming overall, but were good enough to record their fifth consecutive victory without a loss. Selma had 187 yards of offense and managed three touchdowns, one with the help of a muffed punt by a Roosevelt returner.
Jacob Martinez scored the first touchdown for Selma on a six-yard run with 19 seconds left in the first quarter. The Bears led 6-0.
Roosevelt bounced right back to tie with 8:29 left in the first half on a 2-yard run by Isaiah Chambers, making it 6-6.
Unfazed, Selma embarked on a 14-play, 85-yard drive to score from four yards on a run by the 6-foot-7 Stroud, the erstwhile basketball center who was ineligible for the first four games. Stroud rushed for 44 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries.
“It was his first game and we wanted to get him involved,” Logue said. “I don’t think he was completely in the flow – it wasn’t perfect, but we’re working on it.”
Selma, leading 12-6, punted with 31 seconds left in the third quarter and the ball was muffed by a Roosevelt receiver and recovered by Brian Ching on the Rough Rider 20. Selma quarterback Junior Ramirez scored three plays later on a 3-yard run and it was 19-6 with 11:56 left in the game – too much of a gap for Roosevelt the way the Bear defense was playing.
Ramirez completed 8-of-14 passes for 93 yards, intercepted a pass on defense and punted four times for an average of 44.8 yards. Ivan Valdez caught two passes for 50 yards.
Ricky Mota led the defense with five tackles and Adam Rodriguez, Dante Guicho and Martinez had four tackles apiece, while Cazares and Franco had 2.5 tackles each.
Selma has this week off before starting Central Sequoia League play at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6 at Central Valley Christian.