Hanford football falls to El D

The Hanford football team lost 28-12 to El Diamante Friday at Community Stadium in Visalia.

Contributed

Following its 0-4 run through nonleague action, the Hanford football team appeared well on its way to improving to 2-0 in West Yosemite League play and being tied atop the league standings.

But after jumping out to a 12-7 lead against El Diamante, the Bullpups' offense stalled at Community Stadium.

After leading 12-7 midway through the second quarter, the Bullpups were outscored 21-0 from that point on. El Diamante went on to knock off Hanford 28-12 Friday night.

With the loss, Hanford falls to 1-5 overall and 1-1 in the WYL. With the win, El Diamante is now one of just two unbeatens in WYL play along with Lemoore.

While Hanford's offense continued to struggle, its defense kept the team in the game with El Diamante taking advantage of a special teams touchdown and another set up by a long punt return and a penalty.

To open the game, El Diamante returned the opening kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown for an early 7-0 lead.

Its final score of the game came with under six minutes left after a punt return and a penalty set up the Miners inside the Hanford 10.

In all, Hanford outgained El DIamante 289-269.

“I thought our defense played well at times,” said Hanford head coach Josh Young. “It just didn't show on the scoreboard having given up 28 points.”

After giving up the early touchdown, Hanford answered two possessions later.

Hanford quarterback Juaron Watts-Brown took off on back-to-back quarterback keepers to go 78 yards on two carries. On the second carry, Watts-Brown went 42 yards for the touchdown to pull Hanford to within 7-6 after a missed extra point.

On the Bullpups' next possession, Hanford needed just six plays to go 76 yards with Travone Houston scoring on a 40-yard run after going around the right corner.

Hanford wouldn't score in the final 34-plus minutes of the game.

Five minutes later, El Diamante retook the lead on Jayvon Hightower's 27-yard touchdown catch from Miners quarterback Parker Boswell to give El Diamante a 14-12 lead going into the half.

With 54 seconds left in the third, Boswell connected with Curtis Robert in the corner of the end zone on a 20-yard touchdown pass. Jermyren Goodman ending the scoring with a nine yard touchdown run late in the fourth.

“We didn't go ourselves a favor by digging ourself in that hole early,” Young said. “But the kids fought back after that.”

On the ground, Watts-Brown led Hanford with 13 carries for 91 yards. He was also 12-of-25 passing for 132 yards. Adam Avila had three catches for 48 yards for the Bullpups.

El Diamante was led by Freeman, who had 27 carries for 111 yards. Robert, who returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, also had four catches for 58 yards and one receiving touchdown.

Hanford will look to bounce back Friday against Redwood at Mineral King Bowl before returning to Neighbor Bowl the following week for Homecoming against Golden West.

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