Buchanan uses big plays to secure the Golden Spur

Buchanan running back Kendall Milton (2) jukes Clovis West’s Isaac Rodriguez (25) in the teams 45-21 victory over the Golden Eagles on homecoming night at Veterans Memorial Stadium, Oct. 11, 2019. PHOTO BY MICHAEL FORD/CLOVIS ROUNDUP

The rivalry between the Clovis West and Buchanan High football teams is an annual staple for fans of TRAC football. The Battle for the Golden Spur is a tradition unto its own for the two schools.

Last season, the Bears dominated the Golden Eagles 35-7 to secure the trophy handed to the winners of the annual contest. Friday night, Buchanan kept the hardware by routing Clovis West 45-21 at Veterans Memorial Stadium on homecoming night.

And they did it in true Buchanan fashion, with big plays that fans of the team have come to expect under head coach Matt Giordano.

The offensive outburst for the Bears started early on. After the defense forced West to punt the ball on its first possession, Buchanan marched down the field with little resistance, capping off a 47-yard drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Ian Kirby to Brandon Hernandez to get the scoring underway.

Ever the resilient team, the Golden Eagles answered the bell when they had to in response with a 52-yard drive orchestrated by quarterback Bradley Senneway and the stable of offensive weapons at his disposal.

The young signal caller found his trusty receiver David Pierro in the endzone for a 10-yard touchdown to tie the game up with 11:34 remaining in the first half.

Any momentum, though, that the Golden Eagles might have established on the scoring drive was promptly wiped out the following Bears possession.

Kirby hit receiver Chukwudalu Dunu in stride down the right sideline for 43 yards and a score to recapture the touchdown advantage.

Buchanan later added a field goal from 39 yards out to take a 17-7 lead heading into halftime.

In the third quarter, the Bears finally were able to unleash its not-so-secret weapon: running back Kendall Milton.

Milton had been held mostly in check by the Golden Eagles defense in the first half, but that changed dramatically on the Bears first possession of the second half.

The recent University of Georgia commit scored three times in the period, including two runs of 67 and 53 yards and a catch and run of 67 yards, besting the Golden Eagles entire offensive output for the game.

And with the onslaught, the Bears held a 38-14 lead with 4:02 remaining in the third.

With 4:20 on the clock, the Golden Eagles got back on the scoreboard with a 5-yard TD reception for Pierro,

But the Buchanan lead proved too much to overcome, and the Bears added another score from Dante Lawson to put the icing on the cake.

The Bears now sit at 4-3, three games behind the TRAC-leading Central Grizzlies with three games remaining on the schedule, keeping its slim hopes of catching the league-leaders alive.

Giordano won’t let his guys get ahead of themselves and lose focus on the present.

“The focus is one game at a time,” Giordano said. “We can’t look too far ahead, we have to be where our feet are. Our feet right now are at Clovis West and our feet right now are about to head over and get ready for Clovis High.”

For Clovis West, the loss sends the team back to a game under the .500 mark at 3-4. The team will look to bounce back Oct. 18 at home against Clovis East. Both teams are 1-1 in the TRAC.

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.