VISALIA - Joey Ramirez threw four touchdowns, Aaron Blancas found the endzone three times, and Adam Rodriguez scored on the ground in the Bears’ 35-3 road victory over Central Valley Christian (5-4, 2-2 CSL) on Friday.
Selma (8-1, 4-0 CSL) remains unbeaten against league opponents, setting up a pivotal Central Sequoia League championship game against rival Kingsburg (9-0, 4-0 CSL) at Reedley High School this week. It will be the 87th meeting between the opposing schools.
“We got the win and that’s all we talked about it, just find a way to get a win here,” Bears coach Matt Logue said about victory over CVC. “I don’t care how it happens tonight, so we could set up that game. That big, big game next week against Kingsburg.”
In the series against CVC, Selma is 4-8 and its 35 points is the most the Bears have scored against the Cavaliers. Selma’s 32-point margin of victory is the largest all time against CVC. It’s the Bears’ first win against the Cavaliers since 2016 and it’s also Logue’s first win as coach in CVC’s building.
“CVC is always tough, it’s always tough to come play here,” Logue said.
The Bears’ offense was clicking on all cylinders against the Cavaliers by gaining yards with a balanced attack. In the first quarter, Ramirez tossed his first touchdown of the night to Blancas, who dove into the endzone for a 26-yard score. The touchdown was set up by a 43-yard reception from Blancas, who dove for the catch on a deflected ball.
CVC scored its only points of the game in the second quarter on a 30-yard field goal from Will de Jong. After, the Bears responded with another touchdown from Ramirez, who found a wide open Aaron Moreno for a 36-yard score to extend Selma’s lead to 14-3, which would be the halftime score.
After the Bears received the ball to start the second half, Rodriguez had the biggest gain of the night on a 61-yard carry on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter. Rodriguez’s run put Selma on CVC’s 22-yard line. Selma ended up turning the ball over on downs, but the Bears would go on to score 14 points in 10 seconds in their next two possessions. Ramirez passed to Blancas on both touchdowns that were from 63 and 28 yards out. CVC muffed the kickoff return after the 63-yard touchdown, allowing the Bears to recover the ball and putting them on the Cavaliers' 28-yard line.
Rodriguez ran for a 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter for the Bears final touchdown of the night.
“As the weeks go on, we’re just playing better and better,” Ramirez said about the offense. “I think this is the most complete game we played so far.”
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After throwing the ball twice against Exeter a week prior, Ramirez completed 6-of-10 passes for 193 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions. He connected with Blancas four times for 160 yards and three touchdowns.
“We’ve been playing since we were little,” Blancas said about Ramirez. “It’s always been a brotherhood, me and him always been brothers, so we have that connection. I got to shout out to the [offensive] line for giving my quarterback time.”
Selma outgained CVC 428-151 with 235 of those yards coming on the ground. Rodriguez ran for 152 yards on 17 carries, followed by Zach Zarate carrying the ball 11 times for 36 yards while Moreno gain 32 yards on eight rushing attempts. Moreno’s 36-yard score was his only reception of the night.
The defense held CVC to four first downs while not allowing the Cavaliers to convert on third down situations (0-for-11). Jon Ambrose recorded a team-high eight tackles along with 1 ½ sacks while Dante Guicho had half of a sack.
Heading into the CSL championship, the Bears will bring a defense that is allowing 216.2 yards per game and a rushing attack that has run for 276.2 yards per contest.
Not only will Selma be playing for its first league title since 2016, the program will be vying for a potential first round bye in the Central Section Division IV playoffs.
“We always have that big picture in mind and for us, this is about us getting that league championship and playoff seeding,” Logue said. “Those are the two most important things for us because if we could win that game, I don’t see how we’re not a two seed, and that’ll be big for us.”
The Bears will go head-to-head against the Vikings in an anticipated rivalry matchup on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Since 2004, Kingsburg is 12-3 in the series and were victorious 49-14 in last year’s meeting. The undefeated Vikings will be playing for the top seed in Division III along with the CSL title.