KERMAN - The Kerman Lions had no answer for Selma’s rushing attack, as the Bears compiled over 300 yards on the ground in a 48-21 non-league road win on Friday.
After scoring two points against the Lions (0-1) in last year’s opening season matchup, the Bears (1-0) wasted no time getting its offense started, taking a 28-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. Three of Selma’s first four touchdowns were scores of 30 yards or more.
The Bears controlled the game by rushing for 305 yards and five different players scoring on the ground. Overall, the Bears gained a total of 508 offensive yards on 66 plays and averaged 7.7 yards per play.
Aaron Blancas, Aaron Moreno, Adam Rodriguez, Aaron Olivares, and Joey Ramirez each had a score on the ground while Brandon Johnson and Blancas each recorded a touchdown reception.
“I thought our [offensive] line really dominated the game,” Selma head coach Matt Logue said. “They gave our quarterback plenty of time, they opened up a lot of holes, everything that we were doing was working early.”
The running game helped open up the Bears’ passing attack with Ramirez under center. The junior had an efficient passing performance by completing 11-of-17 attempts and throwing for 203 yards and two touchdowns. His rushing score was a quarterback sneak and it occurred late in the fourth quarter. Both of his passing touchdowns came in the first quarter.
Ramirez threw a 16-yard touchdown to Blancas to give the Bears a 7-0 lead and he later connected with Johnson on a 45-yard score as time expired in the first quarter.
After Kerman tied it up 7-7, Blancas ran to the endzone for 34 yards to give Selma a 13-7 advantage, which was followed by a 41-yard touchdown run from Moreno to extend the Bears lead 21-7.
In the second quarter, Rodriguez scored the final touchdown of the first half on a 6-yard run to give Selma a 34-7 lead at halftime. Olivares (7-yard run) and Ramirez (1-yard) scored Selma’s final two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
“Up front, our O-line is very, very good and we got five to six guys back that returned as starters,” Logue said. “That makes a huge difference. That makes everything go.”
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Blancas was tough for Kerman’s defense to stop, recording six receptions for 112 yards and adding 85 rushing yards on three carries. He led the Bears in both receiving and rushing yards.
Rodriguez had the most carries (16) and rushed for 82 yards, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Moreno rushed for 67 yards on seven carries while Olivares ran for 54 yards on 10 rushing attempts. Moreno also had a 36-yard reception.
As for the Bears' defense, the unit allowed a total of 346 yards and they made Kerman one dimensional, allowing 55 rushing yards. Selma also had three turnovers - two fumbles and one interception. Rodriguez, who also plays linebacker, recorded the pick.
Outside of two fourth quarter touchdown passes - 49-yards and 76-yards - the Bears didn’t allow many big plays. Those two touchdown drives occurred against Selma’s defensive substitutes.
Besides Selma’s first defensive drive that ended in a 8-yard touchdown, Logue said his defense played well by containing quarterback Gavin Layton for the remainder of the game.
“Their quarterback is a good athlete and a good football player and we talked…this week especially about his ability to extend plays,” Logue said. “He scrambled around and bought time and that’s what he did on that first drive. He found a couple of guys wide open and after that we kind of settled in.”
Selma will aim for a 2-0 start when the Bears host the Independence Falcons (0-1) at Reedley High School this week. In their week one matchup, the Falcons fell 7-6 to the South (Bakersfield) Rebels. Last year, Independence defeated Selma in a 47-0 blowout.
“We’re going to be ready and our kids are hungry,” Logue said.
Kickoff between the Bears and Falcons is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start on Friday.