UPDATE 9:50 P.M. FRIDAY:
The Bishop Broncos put together their best game of the season Friday night with a 29-0 victory against No. 4 seed Fillmore.
The win puts Bishop into the semifinals of the East Valley Division of the CIF-Southern Section Toyota Football Championships against No. 1 seed and three-time defending section champion St. Margaret’s of San Juan Capistrano, which defeated Aquinas.
TV33’s broadcast of tonight’s game will start about 11:30 p.m.
An intriguing second-round match up between Fillmore and Bishop Union looms in the East Valley Division of the CIF-Southern Section Toyota Football Championships on Friday at John Schwab Field (7 p.m. kickoff).
Fillmore (8-3 overall, first place in the Frontier League at 4-0) is the No. 4 seed, coming off a 41-14 first-round win against visiting Yucca Valley.
Bishop (7-4 overall, second place in the High Desert League at 4-1) defeated Brentwood 21-20 after a long road trip to Southern California, playing at Granada Hills Charter School’s John Elway Stadium (Brentwood doesn’t have stadium lights).
But now it’s Fillmore that must make the almost 6-hour drive by bus to the Eastern Sierra.That’s an advantage the Broncos will gladly take. Bishop head coach Bill Egan said Fillmore is strong in all facets – offense, defense, special teams – and has a very good quarterback in junior Corey Cole, who was named Offensive MVP of the Frontier League. Cole broke the school touchdown record with 13 this season, against just three interceptions.
The Flashes also have two solid running backs in Nick Paz (973 yards rushing) and Zach Golson (898).
Offensively and defensively, Fillmore has a couple of interesting ties to Bishop. The Flashes run the Wing T offense, which former Bronco coach Craig Chudy employed during his successful tenure from 1983-1996.
Bishop’s regular defense under Egan is the 3-3-5, which Fillmore coach Matt Dollar said his school used before switching to the “under” defense, based on the USC Trojan schemes.
Dollar, in his third season as head coach, has an experienced coaching crew, dotted with former Fillmore coaches making for a savvy, veteran staff.
Egan is in his ninth year as head coach at Bishop, and has guided the Broncos into the playoffs each season, a remarkable achievement, especially considering the somewhat dismal four years between the Chudy and Egan eras.
The Broncos are led offensively by senior quarterback Chance Erwin, junior running backs Kiko Gonzales and Aaron Puls and senior back Kyle Goin. The offensive line – center Shayne Thompson, guards Jake Doonan and Blake Hubbard , tackles Jose Arias and Scott Jaegers – has opened good holes for the Bishop rushing attack.
Defensively, standouts for the Broncos have been ends Jaegers and Alec Simpson and linebackers Ermilo Arias and Gonzales. In the secondary, Puls, Erwin, Goin, Kenny Chandler and sophomore Chance Callahan (four interceptions in the last three games) have been solid, along with LB Doonan and noseguard Jose Arias.
Should Bishop defeat Fillmore, the Broncos will have a home game in the semifinals, hosting the winner of No. 1 seed St. Margaret’s and Aquinas. Bishop and Aquinas will have had one home and one road game, and the Broncos won the coin flip. St. Margaret’s will have had two home games, and combined with Bishop’s one home and road game, the Broncos get the automatic home game in the semis, scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5.
In the lower bracket, the quarterfinals (second round) pit Grace Brethren at Oak Hills, which beat No. 3 seed Kern Valley, and Ontario Christian hosting No. 2 seed Maranatha. The winners will play in the semifinals on Friday, Dec. 4.
Sierra Wave TV33, in our 10th year of broadcasting Bronco (and Mammoth High) football, will be showing the game on a delayed basis, starting about 12:30 a.m. Saturday. Regular times on Saturday and Sunday starting at 11 a.m. through 5 p.m, starting again at 9 p.m., with myself, Bob Todd, and Kent Puls calling the action.