Tigers in rematch with Redwood in Division II playoffs as Rangers beat Tehachapi 35-21

By Ed Martin, The Leader Editor
Reggie Davis hauls in a touchdown pass as time expired in the first half.
Reggie Davis hauls in a touchdown pass as time expired in the first half.
Photo by Bill Burris, Photography for Kings County

Lemoore's 10-0 Tiger football team will begin its quest for a Division II Central Section championship against a team from its own league. The Tigers will face Redwood High School this Friday (Nov. 21) in Tiger Stadium in round two of the Division II football playoffs.

On Sept. 26, Lemoore defeated the Rangers 28-14 en-route to a perfect regular season. The game will begin promptly at 7 p.m.

Lemoore already has one Valley champion. On Friday, Kings Christian High School won the 8-Man Football championship in a come-from-behind victory over Fresno Christian 57-56.

Redwood defeated Tehachapi last Friday 35-21 to earn the right to play Lemoore for the second time this season. Jeremiah Johnson scored three times for the Rangers, his final score a 59-yard scamper in the third period to give his Ranger squad a 28-7 lead.

Should Lemoore beat the Rangers again, it will play host to the winner of the Kingsburg and Dinuba matchup on Nov. 28.  

Tigers crush rival Bullpups in season finale

Friday night, November 7, 2014 will long be remembered and talked about in barbershops and elsewhere as the night a very talented and hungry Tiger football team capped a perfect regular season with a near perfect win.

Old timers and others interested in football lore will also remember the thousands of fans who waited patiently in lines that stretched 300 yards or more, and the slight chill in the air as their hometown football team entered the stadium brandishing a spotless 9-0 record, prepared to battle its longtime rival - also unbeaten - in what may well turn out to be the game of the century in Kings County.

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Division II Playoff Brackets

Indeed Lemoore would remain perfect, ending Hanford’s hope of a perfect season and a West Yosemite League title by pounding out a 24-13 victory. The league title instead goes to the Tigers, who now will embark on a quest for a second Central Section Division II championship. The last time they won a valley title was in 2005 when they beat Yosemite High School.

Trey Perryman scores to put Lemoore up 21-7 in the third quarter.
Trey Perryman scores to put Lemoore up 21-7 in the third quarter.
Photo by Bill Burris, Photography for Kings County

The night will be also be remembered for a pair of touchdowns, including a memorable 50-yard touchdown pass from Cort Groathouse to Reggie Davis as time expired in the first half which gave Lemoore a 14-7 lead. Davis also scored the game’s first touchdown midway through the second period on a 58-yard pass from Groathouse.

“We just threw it deep, and I was wide open and it landed perfectly in my hands, and the second touchdown was the same thing; right before halftime we threw it deep; they had a blown coverage and I caught it for a touchdown,” said a very happy Davis after the game.

 For Davis, whose brother Rashaun played for the Tigers last year, Friday night’s win will be one of his most memorable football moments. “This will rank high in my life,” he said. “I feel like I’ve been waiting for this all my life and now it’s finally here.”

Lemoore will earn a bye next Friday thanks to its number 2 seed in Division II. Ridgeview earned the top seed. The two could conceivably meet in the Division II finale. Lemoore will host a home playoff game on Nov. 21 against either Tehachapi (#10) or Redwood (#7).

The win also ranks as one of Coach Shannon Pulliam’s best. “This is number one. It has to be,” said Pulliam. “You know, you go undefeated, you win a championship, and you win it against your rivals; I don’t think it gets any better than that. These kids are absolute warriors and they never give up; they’ve never given up all year long. They’re battle tested and I’m so proud of them. They deserved this because they put in the work to get here.”

Davis finished with five catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Trey Perryman also had a good night for the Tigers, rushing for nearly 140 yards. Perryman scored the game’s last touchdown in the third quarter on an 8-yard run.

Spencer Lambert booted a 35-yard field goal early in the final period to account for the final Tiger points.

Lemoore’s defense held the Bullpups to a little over 100 yards rushing and 100 yards passing. The Tigers had several sacks of Hanford quarterback Ryan Johnson. Jerald Campbell intercepted a Johnson pass late in the game.

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