REEDLEY - The Bears played shut down defense while their offense proved to be too much to handle for Independence High in a 35-0 non-league win over the Falcons (0-2) at Sal Gonzalez Field at Reedley High on Friday.
The Bears improved to 2-0 after the win. Their defense put up a goose egg a week after allowing 21 points in its win over Kerman. It’s Selma’ first shutout victory since a 27-0 win over Kingsburg during the 2017 season.
The Bears’ offense out gained Independence 311-144 yards and attempted one punt. In last year’s matchup, Selma fell 47-0 to the Falcons.
“Our theme this week was ‘Payback game No. 2,’” Bears head coach Matt Logue said. “Last year, they put it on us bad and you can’t forget those things and how it feels. You’re not going to dwell on it, but you got to learn from it and it has to be on the back of your mind because that stuff hurts...these kids have responded well and the way they’re playing right now, they don’t want that to happen.”
On Selma’s first possession, its offense quickly showed its explosiveness on a Joey Ramirez 78-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Aaron Moreno that gave the Bears a 7-0 lead
Selma’s offense was stalled for the rest of the quarter, but the Bears moved the ball in the second quarter, scoring 21 points and going into halftime up 28-0. Adam Rodriguez (1-yard run), Ramirez (interception return), and Aaron Blancas (2-yard run) scored in the second quarter.
In two games this season, Selma has outscored its opponents 62-7 in the first half.
Logue said to the play of his offensive line has been an indicator to the team’s early season success.
“They’re getting after it,” Logue said. “They’re getting into people, we’re getting a push, we just have to hopefully continue to do that.”
Ramirez tossed his second touchdown of the game - third overall - in the third quarter on a 34-yard score to Zach Zarate, which was Selma’s final points of the night. Ramirez, who also plays safety, had his second touchdown on a pick-six and converted a two-point conversion on a pass to Moreno to put the Bears up 21-0 in the second quarter.
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The junior signal caller threw for 154 yards on 4-of-6 attempts with his three total touchdowns. He averaged 38.5 yards per pass attempt, but his huge yardage plays wouldn’t happen without the offensive line executing, Ramirez said.
“I know the speed looks good, but the linemen help out a lot,” Ramirez said about the offensive line. “The linemen does their part and our guys get open and it just helps everyone when the line does their job and we execute and get rewarded.”
Blancas was one the Bears players that had a dynamic performance, catching a 37-yard reception and rushing for 55 yards on five carries. Rodriguez rushed for 64 yards on 12 carries, averaging 5.3 yards per rushing attempt.
After playing on last year’s 4-6 team that started 0-2, Blancas said the leadership and work ethic of this season’s squad has made a difference.
“Last year, we didn’t have leaders and this year’s team we have leaders,” Blancas said. “Everyone has stepped up and played their role.”
For the second-straight week, the Bears’ run defense allowed less than 100 yards on the ground, allowing 63 against Independence and 55 against Kerman. In two games, the run defense has allowed an average of 2.4 yards per carry. Through two games, the defense has got five turnovers while the offense has turnovered the ball once.
The game occurred at Reedley High due to ongoing stadium construction at Selma High. Originally, the Bears were slated to host the first four games of the season at the newly renovated venue, but delays caused the updated stadium to not be completed on time.
Selma will host Sunnyside (1-1) at Reedley High School this Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Sal Gonzalez Field. It will be the final game that the Bears will host at Reedley.
In last year’s matchup, Selma defeated the Wildcats 21-13 on the road. Sunnyside is coming off a 10-0 home loss to Clovis North.