By Daniel Leon | Editor
The Buchanan Bears opened the 2016 season with a statement 33-14 win over the defending D-IV state champion Hanford Bullpups to give first-year head coach Matt Giordano his first win.
“I’m just thankful,” Giordano said. “I have a great staff and they work their butts off to prepare these kids. I’m just blessed to have great players, a great staff, great support from the administration. It’s not about me, it’s about them. I’m just grateful for all their support.”
Using their up-tempo offense, the Bears drove down the field and scored on their initial drive with a three-yard touchdown run up the middle from senior Zach Presno.
Buchanan did not let up as it continued to pound the Bullpups with its run game and solid defensive play to balloon its lead to 26-0 at the half.
Hanford senior quarterback and San Jose State commit Ryan Johnson left the game early with what appeared to be some sort of leg injury. Johnson would not return, forcing the Bullpups to adjust without their best player.
The Bullpups eventually got on the board in the third quarter as backup quarterback Jordan Perryman scored on a quarterback draw inside the five-yard line, however, the failed two-point conversion made things 26-6.
Midway through the third, the Bears struck again with a 45-yard touchdown pass on a corner route from senior quarterback Nolan LeForge to receiver Jack Wilkins.
Perryman gave the Bullpups their second and final score of the game on a 34-yard scamper down the Hanford sideline with a few minutes to play.
Giordano credits his team’s physicality from the get-go as it allowed them to control the line of scrimmage, as well as game.
“I thought we did great things running the ball and our defense came out to play,” he said. “We started off fast. We just have to work on a couple things like execution of tackling but again, I’m just thankful for this first win and we’ll continue to grow.”