By Ed Martin, The Leader Editor
Richard Doctor runs for some of his 201 yards Friday night.
Richard Doctor runs for some of his 201 yards Friday night.
Photo by Chris Garcia, Newman Garcia Studio

Coming off a bruising 14-12 loss to Clovis last Friday could very well have deflated Coach Shannon Pulliam’s Tigers as they prepared to face visiting Hoover Friday night in Tiger Stadium. And after just one quarter, the Tigers appeared to be living up to that thought. But Lemoore can always count on its talented defense, the legs of running back Richard Doctor and the arm of Cort Groathouse to turn things around.

Lemoore’s defense, after giving up a first quarter touchdown to the Patriots, kept Hoover at bay the rest of the game and coupled with Lemoore’s offensive output, particularly in the second half, defeated Hoover 38-7 to improve to 2-1 on the season.

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“We obviously started off pretty slow,” said Pulliam. “Earlier I told my team this game was a scary one, particularly coming off that loss at Clovis.” He added his team could have been somewhat deflated because of the loss, and in the early going, that may have been the case as Lemoore appeared to be in the doldrums, leading only 10-7 at the half. During halftime, Pulliam told his team “we just gotta do what we do” and they more than responded to his words, scoring almost at will in the second half.

Lemoore scored four times in the final 24 minutes and Lemoore’s defense completely shut down the Patriot offense.

Lemoore’s first points of the game, came off the foot of field goal kicker Spencer Lambert who booted a 31-yarder to cut the Hoover lead to just 7-3 early in the second quarter. A few minutes later and Darnell Foster hauled in the first of two touchdown passes from Tiger quarterback Cort Groathouse, the first a 53-yard pass play that gave Lemoore its first lead at 10-7, a lead they weren’t about to relinquish.

The talented duo teamed up again in the fourth when Groathouse found Foster open again for a 48-yard touchdown, the Tigers final of the night.

Again, the versatile Doctor proved that he just may be the best running back in the Valley, rushing for an unofficial 201 yards on 21 carries. He also scored on runs of 58-yards in the third quarter and a 60-yarder in the final stanza. He also scored on a 33-yard screen pass from Groathouse, who finished with three TD passes on the night.

The Tigers face Sanger High School in an unusual Thursday night game in Tiger Stadium this week. The varsity team will play at 7 p.m. instead of the regular 7:30 p.m. start time. The junior varsity will begin its game at 4:30 p.m.

Clovis 14, Lemoore  12

Despite another big night from Lemoore High running back Richard Doctor, his Tiger varsity football team could not overcome an early 14-0 Clovis lead in the first quarter and eventually fell 14-12 after a scoreless second half. The loss dropped Lemoore to 1-1 on the season after a disappointing loss to a talented team ranked in the Valley’s top 10 high school football teams.

Lemoore, after two straight road games, returns home this Friday when it hosts visiting Hoover in a 7:30 p.m. game.

Doctor rushed for 175 yards on 29 carries, carrying much of the offensive load for the Tigers. He scored on a second quarter touchdown to put his Tiger team to within two points of Clovis at 14-12. Lemoore missed both point after attempts to fall short.

Trailing 14-0 in the second period, Lemoore quarterback Cort Groathouse connected with Trenton McGhuey on a 64-yard pass play to cut the deficit to 14-6.

Lemoore’s defense held the Cougars scoreless for three quarters but the Tigers just couldn’t push the ball into the end zone. The Tigers' defense has been especially stingy its first two games. Against Monache the defense shutout the Marauders and allowed just 14 points in the Clovis game, all in the first quarter. In all, Lemoore has shutout its opponents in seven of the eight quarters it has played.


For Clovis Alan Crowley scored both touchdowns, the first on a 2-yard run and the second on a short 1-yard burst into the end zone as the Cougars took the early lead.

Doctor also caught one pass for 19 yards while fellow teammates Jayden Hunt and Karson Overmyer had catches of 13 yards and 14 yards respectively. Groathouse completed five of six for 108 yards on the night.

In freshman action on Thursday, Lemoore’s young team lost its second straight contest, a 41-7 defeat at Clovis High School.

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Lemoore’s Richard Doctor, took up right where he left off last year, by leading the Central Section in rushing. Doctor, the team’s – and possibly the Valley’s top back – rushed for 294 yards on just 22 carries as the Tigers whipped hapless Monache 47-0 to open the 2013 football campaign.

To be fair, while Doctor did a lot of it on his own, he got superb help from his beefy offensive line, a fact that Tiger Coach Shannon Pulliam, in his second year with the Tigers, pointed out. “He did a lot for himself, but our offensive line blocked very well for him,” said the LHS coach.

Pulliam was a bit surprised at the final score. “I thought they’d be a lot better,” he said of the Marauders. “But we did play very well. It was a very good all-around game for us.”

The Tigers hit the road again this week with a Friday game at Clovis High’s Lamonica Stadium and hope to improve to 2-0 on the season. Lemoore’s first home game is scheduled for September 13 in Tiger Stadium against Hoover High School.

“We were really prepared,” Pulliam said of Friday night’s Monache whitewashing. “We even had two touchdowns called back on clipping penalties.”

A big highlight, in addition to Doctor’s heroics, was the play of quarterback Cort Groathouse, who had two touchdown passes on the night in his first varsity game. Sophomore Roger Wilson also got some playing time and promptly responded with a touchdown pass of his own to Al Perryman.