Cort Groathouse
Cort Groathouse

The Tigers are 4-0 and about to begin their march through the always difficult West Yosemite League. Beginning this Friday in Visalia, the Tigers take on the Redwood Rangers, who will enter the WYL opener at 3-1, after losing Friday night, 17-6, to Centennial.

Lemoore nearly had a 3-1 record of its own, despite dominating Sanger High for much of Friday night’s 27-22 victory. Trailing 22-21, the result of a combination of Tiger mistakes and Sanger’s two late touchdowns, Lemoore mounted a last minute comeback that culminated with a 19-yard Cort Groathouse touchdown run up the middle with just 58 seconds left on the clock.

West Yosemite League Standings

2014 Schedule

Lemoore held on in the final seconds as Sanger had the ball at Lemoore’s 34 with four seconds left but failed to score.

It was a final drive to rank with the best in Tiger football history. Sanger burst into the lead with 4:32 left on the clock when Andrew Azua scored on a 19-yard run. The touchdown gave the Apaches their first lead of the game at 22-21.

Groathouse took charge. The talented Tiger quarterback was indeed impressive, not only on the drive, but in the game, connecting on 23 of 30 passes for 258 yards. With star receiver Allen Perryman the object of intense defensive coverage, Groathouse looked to junior Christian Martinez, who delivered big for Lemoore.

Martinez caught a 33-yarder from Groathouse to give Lemoore a first down at the Sanger 43-yard line. He took in another 28-yard pass to set up the touchdown run by Groathouse.

Groathouse, with just 58 seconds left, dropped back to pass, spotted a clearing and took off, crossing the goal line and returning the lead to Lemoore.

Lemoore was put in its comeback mode when a punt return was stopped at the 3-yard line. That led to a safety as Sanger dropped Trey Perryman in the end zone. The Apaches took the ensuing free kick and marched 50 yards and scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to cut the Tiger lead to 21-16.

Lemoore took the opening kickoff 80 yards in 14 plays to score first when Groathouse threw a 7-yard TD pass to Reggie Davis.

It didn’t take long for Sanger to respond, mounting a 5-play drive that culminated in a Brandon Gonzalez 2-yard touchdown to tie the game with 4:48 left in the first period.

Early in the second period, the Tigers went up 14-7 on the strength of a TD pass from Groathouse to Allen Perryman from 8-yards out. They made it 21-7 on a 6-yard pass to Davis with 3:44 left in the first half.