Buchanan cruises past Clovis North to retain the Victory Bell

Kendall Milton stiff arms a Clovis North defender in the Buchanan Bears 45-21 victory over the Broncos Friday, Nov. 1 at Veterans Memorial Stadium. (Michael Ford/Clovis Roundup)

Defense, special teams and a dominant running game; those are the ingredients to success that Buchanan football head coach Matt Giordano employs to great success.

And once again, the formula played out just as planned with the Bears defeating the Clovis North Broncos 45-21 at Veterans Memorial Stadium Friday night.

It was the type of game that a hard-nosed coach likes to see. Get ahead early, play good defense and rely on the kicking game to put the team in good field positions. In other words, a complete game.

“We scored in all three phases, and that’s exciting,” Giordano said. “We’re trying to play together as a team. We did a lot of good things and we did a lot of things that we need to continue to learn from.”

One of those good things is something that Buchanan has done well all season, and the 2018 season, for that matter; they run the football with authority and commitment.

Our offensive line blocks their butts off every game and they don’t get enough credit,” Giordano said.

And the greatest beneficiary of that blocking? Well, as usual, that would be the senior star running back and University of Georgia commit Kendall Milton.

Milton was on his A-game once again against the Broncos. He came into the game having scored 12 TD in his previous four contests.

He added to that against Clovis North, on the very first offensive play of the game for the Bears, in fact.

Milton took a handoff down the left sideline, evading and outracing the Broncos defenders to paydirt for a 71-yard TD. On Buchanan’s second drive, he did it again, this time on a run down the right sideline for a 42-yard score to put the Broncos up 21-0.

But, as noted before, the defense had a lot to say about the outcome of this season finale rivalry contest.

Defensive back CJ Jones intercepted and returned two passes from Broncos quarterback Trenton Luera for scores to break the game wide open.
For the Broncos, it had to have been a frustrating night. The offense moved the ball on the ground effectively its first two possessions, but each ended in turnovers.

The Broncos only scores came when the team was down multiple touchdowns and the game essentially decided.

Luera connected with Devon McCoy for a 23-yard TD in the second quarter and running back Roman Rodriguez scampered into the endzone twice from 5 yards and two yards out in the third and fourth quarters.

And so it has gone for Clovis North. After a 5-0 start to the season, the Broncos finished the campaign going 1-4, sending the team to the 6 seed and a matchup against 11-seed Clovis West in the Central Section playoffs due to begin Nov. 8.

Buchanan finishes the regular season at 8-2, good enough to garner the second seed and a first-round bye as they will await the winner of Bakersfield and Clovis East.

Michael Ford
Michael graduated from Fresno State in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in print journalism. During his time at the university, he served as sports and managing editor for The Collegian, Fresno State’s student-run newspaper. In addition to the Clovis Roundup, Michael has written for The Fresno Bee, the Kingsburg Recorder and Selma Enterprise. He has a passion for sports and can be found on the sidelines at local games, bringing the citizens of Clovis the athletics news they deserve.