Football: Tulare Union wins back-to-back Bell games with recent win over Tulare Western, 35-14


By Spencer Beair

Special to the Sun-Gazette

TULARE– No Kazmeir Allen? No problem says the Tulare Union Tribe.

For the second year in a row the Tribe took down their crosstown rival Tulare Western.

Last Friday, Oct. 26 Tulare Union managed to silence the Mustangs into submission with a powerful offensive performance leading to a 35-14 win.

The Tribe’s offense benefited from several turnovers and controlled the game in the second half.

“We just gave up turnovers that we shouldn’t have, and it gave a good offense even more to work with,” head coach Ryan Rocha said after the game.

This season the Tribe (10-0, 5-0) have dominated the East Yosemite League, but this game

figured to be their toughest test. Tulare Western (9-1, 4-1) has played well all year and actually kept the game close until Donovan Smith ran for a 7-yard touchdown and secured the lead into a 35-14 final.

In the first quarter of the game, Nathan Lamb completed a 76-yard touchdown pass to Sophomore wide receiver Willie James. The Mustangs answered with a 53-yard pass from Western’s Senior quarterback Elijah Burrell to Tairyn Johnson. The Tribe added two more scores, both 7 yard rushing touchdowns from Donovan Smith.

After the game, wide receiver Randy Jordan Jr., who is committed to Fresno State, spoke a little about how seeing Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford on the sidelines affected him.

“It made me kinda nervous, but all I could really do is just play my game and hope to impress him,” Jordan said.

Quarterback Nathan Lamb has had a tremendous four years with the Tulare Union Tribe, and this game cemented himself in Tulare Union history. Lamb surpassed 10,000 passing yards this game which is the first time in recent school history the milestone has been achieved.

His career with the Tribe isn’t done yet though. He will be looking to continue his stellar play through the Division II playoffs.

With the victory, Tulare Union won the much desired bell, but more importantly secured their undefeated season and the top seed in Division II playoffs.

“It feels great to win the EYL title – bell stays home – we’re looking to keep going throughout the playoffs” Coach Bennett said.

Tulare Western, in their biggest game of the season, were consoled after the game by head coach Ryan Rocha.

“The bell game is a very emotional game for our players, this loss is definitely going to dishearten the team.” Coach Rocha said.

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