Garrett Egan rushed for three touchdowns as the Merced High football team overcame a sloppy start to defeat Golden Valley 30-0 in the 24th annual Battle for the Mayor’s Cup on Friday night at Veterans Stadium.
The Bears (4-6, 3-3 Central California Conference) extended their streak to 12 consecutive wins over the Cougars and Merced now leads the series 16-8.
“It was a sloppy game,” said Bears coach Rob Scheidt. “One thing that was constant was our defense. We turned the ball over twice in the first half and they didn’t score. We didn’t get in a rhythm offensively until the second quarter.”
The Bears turned to the ground game as Egan scored on touchdown runs of 2 and 1 yards in the second quarter to open up a 17-0 lead.
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“(Egan) ran the ball really well,” Scheidt said. “He definitely had a 100-plus yards.”
Golden Valley (0-10, 0-6 CCC) wasn’t able to cash in on the Bears’ early turnovers as they missed field goal attempts of 37 and 39 yards in the first half.
Merced put the game away in the second half as Ezra Morales hauled in a 17-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter and Egan added a 14-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter.
Dhameer Warren and Junior Garcia both saw time at quarterback for the Bears. Warren did most of his damage on the ground.
“He ran the ball a lot,” Scheidt said. “The read-option opened up things for us.”
Buhach Colony 41, Atwater 21 in Atwater – The Thunder broke open a 12-7 game at the half with 22 consecutive points to start the second half in Bloss Bowl XII.
LJ Wallace and Youlis Dickson each scored touchdown runs to help give the Thunder (7-3, 5-1 CCC) the lead at the half.
Charles Jackson scored Atwater’s first-half touchdown on a 10-yard run midway through the second quarter.
Christian Quirarte opened the second-half scoring with a 10-yard run for Buhach Colony and the Thunder quickly took control of the game.
Buhach Colony now owns an 8-4 advantage over the Falcons (3-7, 2-4) in the all-time series. The Thunder will find out where they open the playoffs on Saturday.
Los Banos 55, Pacheco 21 in Los Banos – The Tigers (9-1, 4-1 Western Athletic Conference) scored 46 points in the first half as Anthony Caballero finished with five touchdown passes for Los Banos.
Caballero connected with Daniel Guerrero, Paulie Calderon and Landon Ramos for touchdowns in the first half. Caballero completed 12 of 20 passes for 235 yards.
Guerrero finished with four catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns. Calderon had six catches for 84 yards and a score.
Justin Incaprera also added 192 rushing yards, including a 68-yard touchdown run in the first quarter for Los Banos.
Pacheco quarterback Arik Barton accounted for two of the Panthers’ three scores with a 43-yard touchdown pass to Eliseo Ruano in the third quarter and a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Pacheco finished the regular season at 5-5 overall and 3-2 in the WAC.
Patterson 62, Livingston 8 in Patterson – The Tigers outscored the Wolves 48-0 in the second quarter to run away with the game and clinch a WAC championship in their final year in the conference.
Ripon 34, Hilmar 28 in Hilmar – The Indians (7-3, 4-1 Trans-Valley) league jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and held on. Ryan Daggett jumpstarted the Ripon offense with touchdown runs of 65 and 20 yards in the opening quarter. He later scored on a 2-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.
Carter Azevedo caught three touchdown passed from Tristan Crowley for Hilmar (5-5, 2-3 TVL). Crowley also ran in a 5-yard score in the fourth quarter.
Mariposa 34, Le Grand 20 in Le Grand – Five different players scored touchdowns, including two touchdown passes from Colton Weidner as the Grizzlies picked up a road win to close out the regular season.
Guillermo Sanchez finished with 95 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 carries for Le Grand (2-8, 1-6 Southern League).
Delhi 10, Ripon Christian 6 in Delhi – Alecxis Miranda hooked up with Alvin Prasad for the game-winning 22-yard touchdown pass with 42 seconds left in the game for the Hawks (4-6, 2-5 SL).
Max Steele had given the Knights a 6-3 lead in the second quarter with a 3-yard touchdown run.
Other Area scores:
Dos Palos 21, Avenal 0
Liberty 35, Chowchilla 0