The Buhach Colony defense knew it had to slow down Clovis North star running back Bolu Olorunfunmi.
The Thunder couldn’t do it.
The Broncos’ UCLA-bound senior ran for 185 yards, three touchdowns and a key two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter to lift Clovis North to a 36-35 win over Buhach Colony on Friday night at Atwater High.
“I think physically, we knew what to expect,” said Thunder head coach Kevin Navarra, whose team dropped to 2-1. “(Olorunfunmi), he’s the real deal. We had to stay low and we had to tackle.”
The Broncos (2-1) twice erased seven-point deficits in the fourth quarter and it was Olorunfunmi leading the way.
The 5-foot-11, 215-pound rock of a running back showed his speed as a he broke free for a 32-yard touchdown run midway in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Austin Autry then found Jared Black for the two-point conversion to tie the game at 28-28 with 6:19 left in the fourth quarter.
The Thunder answered with a nine-play, 52-yard drive to regain the lead on a Roy Gutierrez 2-yard touchdown run. It was Gutierrez’s second touchdown run of the game.
The Broncos responded quickly, as Olorunfunmi broke free for a 39-yard run to set up Clovis North in the red zone. David Akande then scored on an 18-yard touchdown run to bring the Broncos within 35-34 with 4:46 remaining.
Clovis North head coach Tim Simons elected to go for the lead and turned to Olorunfunmi, who delivered with the two-point conversion on the ground.
The Thunder looked like they were marching down to answer with a 9-yard run by Aundre Sherman and a 12-yard run by Justin Stefani to start the next drive. However, Clovis North sacked BC’s Nathan Duran on second down and the Thunder were forced to punt with 2:26 left.
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The Broncos were then able to run out the clock.
Buhach Colony started the game with a bang as Stefani tackled Bransin Johnson in the end zone on Clovis North’s first play for a safety.
The Thunder then scored on a Gutierrez 2-yard touchdown run to take a 9-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
“That safety set the tone for us early,” Navarra said.
Clovis North eventually took a 20-9 lead early in the third quarter. Buhach Colony stormed back as Sherman caught a 5-yard touchdown and returned an interception 29 yards for a score that gave BC a 28-20 lead late in the third quarter.
Stefani led the Thunder with 180 rushing yards on 19 carries. Sherman added 84 yards on nine carries.
Buhach Colony faces another tough opponent next week with Pacheco (2-1) coming to town.