Buchanan Beats Clovis North in Dominant Fashion

Buchanan defeated Clovis North, 35-3, in a quarterfinal matchup of the 2021 Central Section football playoffs on Friday, November 12th. (Karl Cooke Jr/Clovis Roundup)

From start to finish, the Buchanan Bears led the football game with no intention of giving the Clovis North Broncos a chance to come back.

Buchanan defeated Clovis North, 35-3, in a quarterfinal matchup of the 2021 Central Section football playoffs on Friday, November 12th.

The Bears took an early 7-0 lead when running back Caden Rodgers ran in a touchdown in the first quarter. Clovis North tried to respond with a rushing attack of its own, but Buchanan was ready for the Broncos. Buchanan controlled the tempo early and stopped Clovis North from getting anything on offense.

Buchanan continued in the second quarter where they left off in the first. The Bears drove down the field and scored on a 12-yard run by running back Michael Runnels. Clovis North built up some momentum later in the quarter but were unable to capitalize, due in part to the defense of Buchanan.

After halftime, Clovis North forced a fumbled throw from Buchanan quarterback Colton O’Toole and recovered the ball at Buchanan’s 16-yard line. Yet once again, the Broncos weren’t able to capitalize on the field position and settled for a field goal. 

O’Toole exited the game after the play, and former starting quarterback Jayden Mandal stepped in, looking fully healthy coming off his ankle injury. Mandal led the Bears down the field where Runnels scored again to make the game 21-3. 

From that point on, Buchanan’s stout defense and balanced offense was too much for Clovis North. The Bears recovered two more fumbles, one of them for a touchdown, and scored another rushing touchdown from Rodgers. 

Bears players were excited to beat the Broncos, but recognized that Friday was just the start. Rodgers explained how the team can enjoy the win while looking ahead.

“We want to enjoy it tonight, but tomorrow morning we need to get right back out and get ready for Clovis [High] or Liberty [Bakersfield],” Rodgers said. “We’ll be ready for them. They’ll be coming here and it’ll be a good game.”

Mandal explained his mindset about these playoffs, knowing that each game is crucial.

“Every playoff game is hard, and you never know what could happen,” Mandal said. “You win or go home, and our ultimate goal is not to go home. It’s to win that Valley Championship.” 

When both players were asked if Buchanan is the team to beat in the Central Section, both players had just two words.

“Yes sir.”

The Buchanan Bears will host the Liberty Patriots of Bakersfield next Friday at Veterans Memorial Stadium. 

I am 27 years old, born and raised in Fresno, California. I am the youngest of 4 kids and am a full time student at Fresno State University. I am happily engaged to be married to my fiance Daniella. My favorite sports teams are the L.A Rams, Dodgers and Lakers. I have two dogs and one cat. I have my own podcast called “The Two Minute Warning” Podcast that you can listen to on any platform that you listen to your podcasts.