High School Football

Merced, Golden Valley host homecoming football games tonight

Local high school football fans shouldn’t have to travel far to find a game tonight.

Merced, Buhach Colony, Golden Valley, El Capitan, Livingston and Hilmar are all at home. Kickoffs are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Golden Valley (0-3) will play Stellar Prep (1-2) at Veterans Stadium and Merced (1-2) will face Enochs (0-3) at Merced High – both homecoming games. It will be just the second time Merced has played on campus.

The Bears are trying to bounce back from a 44-34 loss last week to Edison of Fresno. Turnovers continue to be a problem for the Bears – they have nine in three games.

Merced running back Jabar Byrd is off to a great start with 328 rushing yards and six touchdowns.

Golden Valley is at home for the first time since Week 0 against Clovis East. To get their first win, the Cougars will have to contain Stellar Prep quarterback Cameron Burston, who has verbally committed to San Jose State.

“We’re young and we knew we were going to go through some bumps,” Cougars coach Dennis Stubbs said. “In no way are we giving up. We moved some guys around and we’re still looking for the right combinations.”

One bright spot for Golden Valley has been the play of sophomore quarterback Armando Muzquiz. Stubbs said when the Cougars have been able to give Muzquiz some time to throw, he’s been able to make plays.

“The problem has been, we just don’t have the veteran leadership to overcome the mistakes we’ve been making,” Stubbs said. “We’re getting better each week. We’re seeing it on film. Somehow we have to find a way to get it done.”

El Capitan (0-3) returns to Merced College’s Stadium ’76 for the first time since Week 0 as it hosts Downey (2-1). The Gauchos posted a season high in points in last week’s 54-20 loss to Gregory.

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Buhach Colony (2-1) will try to rebound from a tough 36-35 loss to Clovis North when it faces Pacheco (2-1). Pacheco’s defense is led by two physical linebackers in Frank Ginda and Kalama Kamoku.

“I definitely think they’re very athletic. They have great size, and on the film we’ve seen they look very sound,” Buhach Colony coach Kevin Navarra said. “They’re the leaders of their defense and they dictate the tempo for them.”

Livingston (2-1) has turned some heads early with its play. The Wolves will face Mariposa (1-1), which is one of the favorites in the Southern League. Grizzlies quarterback Aaron Lerma has thrown for 497 yards and six touchdowns.

The Wolves’ defense surrenders just 12 points per game.

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