Francisco Pantoja drilled a 30-yard field goal as time expired to lift the No. 8-seeded Fresno High Warriors to a 40-37 win against No. 9-seed East Bakersfield at McLane Stadium on Thursday night.

The Warriors (8-3) advance to a Division III quarterfinal against top-seed Bakersfield Christian (9-1) on Nov. 18.

Fresno bolted to a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter on Lee Major’s 28-yard touchdown run up the middle, but a failed kick on the PAT allowed the Blades (8-4) to muster a last-minute comeback in front of 2,500 fans.

East forced a fumble by Warriors running back Santos Arreola to set up Richard Lara’s 24-yard touchdown pass to Alan Lopez. Lara then found Joseph Robinson for the two-point conversion pass.

With 2:27 remaining, the Blades recovered the onside kick and worked the game clock down to 52 seconds when they scored on Brandon Austin’s 6-yard rush and tied it up on Lara’s two-point conversion pass to Garrett Sherman.

“I think those last two minutes, everything that could’ve gone right for them, went right for them,” Warriors head coach Joe Marquez said.

After the Warriors went three-and-out, they had one go their way.

East fumbled on the ensuing punt and Fresno senior Josue Felix jumped on the ball at the Blades’ 10-yard line with 9 seconds remaining, setting up Pantoja’s winner two plays later.

“We came out and dominated the second half except for those two minutes. I think we showed the type of football we can play,” Marquez said.

Major led the Warriors with a game-high 163 yards rushing including touchdown runs of 3, 8, and 28 yards. Lara led the Blades on 20 for 34 passing for 228 yards to go with two interceptions.

Lee Major scored four touchdowns in the first half and another in the third quarter as the Warriors (7-3, 4-1 North Yosemite League) cruised to a third straight win in the 86-year-old rivalry.

Major’s 2-yard run started the scoring and he would add touchdown catches of 17, 22 and 80 yards, the latter with 22 seconds left in the second quarter to make it 35-7. He returned a punt to the end zone to make it 42-7 in the third.

D-III playoff bound Fresno leads 46-40 with two ties in a series that began in 1930; the teams played twice in 1960. D-IV Roosevelt fell to 2-8 and 2-3.

Khory Day has taken quite well to his new position with the Fresno High football team.

The explosive 5-foot-10, 175-pound senior quarterback-turned-receiver caught two touchdown passes and ran for a TD to lead the Warriors to a 33-16 victory over Hoover on Thursday at McLane Stadium, moving to 2-0 in the North Yosemite League and 5-2 overall.

Day led the Warriors to a 17-7 record and an NYL title as Fresno’s starting quarterback as a sophomore and a junior. But he was switched to receiver after Fresno’s season-opening 28-21 loss to Sanger.

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The Warriors are 5-1 since the switch, which pairs Day with his former favorite target, Lee Major, for a dynamic duo of field-stretching receivers.


Fresno’s Khory Day, who has switched to receiver after two seasons as the Warriors’ starting quarterback.

Day got Fresno rolling with a 45-yard touchdown reception from Nick Southern on the first possession. Day’s 3-yard run with 21 seconds left in the first half then gave the Warriors a lead they would not relinquish at 14-10.

The lead grew to 20-10 on Day’s 25-yard catch-and-run for a score six plays after John L’heureux’s second interception of the game thwarted Hoover’s first possession of the third quarter.

“What it’s really done is given us more options,” coach Joe Marquez said of Day’s position switch. “So now we are able to open the field more, spread the ball between Khory, Lee and some other players. It makes us more dynamic offensively.

“And the selflessness of these kids. Khory didn’t have any problem with it. Nick’s obviously loving it. The ball going between Khory and Lee, they support each other, they love each other scoring touchdowns. It’s been great.”

Marquez and staff decided to make the switch because of their confidence in Southern, a 6-1, 172-pound senior, taking over the offense. Southern delivered a 12-of-18, no-interception, 194-yard, two-touchdown performance against Hoover.

“Nick’s done a great job stepping in and taking over the quarterback role, being a leader, making great decisions, great throws. I couldn’t be prouder of Nick,” Marquez said. “Me and Nick talked about it a lot. We said as soon as you’re ready to take this thing over, we’ll give it to you. We gave him the ball and he’s been doing a great job ever since.”

Fresno pulled away in the fourth quarter on 1-yard touchdown runs by Major and Alonzo Pollard.

Pollard’s touchdown came two plays after Kenny Brown’s jarring hit of Keyon Beta forced a fumble that Pollard scooped up and returned to the Hoover 3.

The Warriors play at Sunnyside (4-2, 1-0) on Oct. 21 in a likely showdown for sole possession of first in the NYL.

“We were expecting to have a better first half,” said Major, who had seven catches for 96 yards. “So we have to come out and play better against Sunnyside next week cause that’s pretty much for the NYL championship.”

Hoover (1-6, 1-1) scored on Jose Medina’s 1-yard run, Javier Pacheco’s 36-yard field goal and Makevel Siharath’s 77-yard pass from Medina.

The Warriors’ dynamic duo of Lee Major and Khory Day was at it again while dispatching the Highlanders in a North Yosemite League opener.

Major hauled in touchdown catches of 50 and 60 yards, and Day scored off receptions of 50 and 22 yards as Fresno scored 35-plus points for the fourth time this season.

Fresno (4-2) kept McLane (0-6) winless while boosting its season scoring average to 34.8 points per game.

Lee Major rushed for 203 yards and three touchdowns as the 18th-ranked Warriors beat the Stallions at McLane Stadium.

Major scored all of his touchdowns in the first half on runs of 19, 21 and 32 yards to help Fresno (3-1) build a 24-6 lead at the break. He also had a 47-yard catch and an fumble recovery of 31 yards.

Khory Day added 114 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries for the Warriors.

Jonah Johnson completed 17 of 35 passes for 280 yards for the Stallions (2-3), including a 52-yard scoring strike to Mathew Manoz.

Manoz finished with six catches for 91 yards.

Madera South’s Maurice McClain had eight carries for 106 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown.

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A Division III showdown will match Fresno (3-1) of the North Yosemite League and Tulare Western (2-2) of the East Yosemite League at Mathias Stadium.

Fresno is No. 19 overall and No. 2 in D-III; the Mustangs were No. 14 overall and top-ranked in the division before absorbing a 42-25 loss to unranked South (3-2).

​Lee Major had a big all-around game to help the No. 19 Warriors (2-1) beat the Gauchos (1-3) at Merced College.

Major scored touchdowns receiving and rushing and had an interception, fumble recovery and forced fumble on defense.

Khory Day scored Fresno’s other touchdown, and after going ahead 19-10 the Warriors stopped El Capitan scoring drives with a turnover and a missed field goal.

Joe Marquez picked up his first win as Warriors coach, helped by a string of long scoring plays that began with Khory Day’s 35-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter.

Before it was over, Lee Major reeled in TD catches of 22 and 35 yards and Santos Arreola – who had an early short touchdown plunge – capped the scoring with a 35-yard run for Fresno (1-1).

Livingston (0-2), coming off a 1-9 season a year ago, has allowed 40-plus points in each of its first two games – losing at home to Delhi 42-21 in Week 1.

The Bee’s No. 7 Apaches overcame four first-half turnovers and a late scare from the unranked Warriors to hold on for the season-opening win at McLane Stadium.

Sanger took the lead for good with 9:03 left on Jacob Tijerina’s 1-yard plunge.

Fresno marched back down the field, getting a key fourth-down conversion from explosive quarterback Khory Day, before the Apaches held their ground at their 29-yard line with 3:05 to play.

Miguel Garcia carried four straight plays while picking up 34 yards to help Sanger run out the clock.

“Finish, hold the ball and let’s get this W,” Garcia, who finished with 145 yards rushing, said of the final drive.

Garcia scored on a 2-yard run and Andrew Azua added a 10-yard scoring run as Sanger built a 21-7 lead in the third quarter.

Fresno rallied on a 65-yard touchdown pass from Day to Lee Major and a 1-yard TD run by Alonzo Pollard in the third quarter to tie the score at 21-21.

Fresno was playing without Coach Ray Reyes, who stepped down in early August because of health concerns.

Reyes will stay on at Fresno as an assistant athletic director, according to to athletic director Dave Barton, and will mentor interim coach Joe Marquez and his assistants. Marquez, who was the Warriors’ offensive coordinator last year, is in his third season at Fresno.

Reyes was in his second stint as Fresno coach.

“Our goal was to get the program where it should be, where we can compete for league titles,” Barton said. “And Ray has done that. He’s put health back into the program.”

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Fresno not flattered – Fresno, after going 9-1 overall and 5-0 in the North Yosemite League, was stuck with a No. 5 seed in D-III behind Hanford (9-1), Memorial (7-3), Tehachapi (7-2) and Bakersfield Christian (7-3).

“My Dad (the late Raymond Reyes Sr.) taught me if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all,” Warriors coach Ray Reyes said. “So I’m going to honor that request.”

Fresno will open for the second year in a row against No. 12 Golden Valley (4-6), this time at McLane Stadium Friday. The Warriors, as a No. 9 seed, won 20-14 on the No. 8 Bulldogs’ field last year.

No. 16 Fresno 21, Roosevelt 14

Playing before a packed house on hand for the annual Little Big Game, the Warriors completed an undefeated run through the North Yosemite League with the help of two Lee Major second-half touchdowns.

Major’s game-winner was a 25-yarder. He also had a touchdown catch just after halftime.

The section 16th-ranked Warriors (9-1, 5-0) never trailed and got on the scoreboard first thanks to quarterback Khory Day’s 68-yard touchdown run.

Next Game

vs Bakersfield Christian High School
@ Bakersfield Christian

NYL Standings

Fresno  4-1 7-3
Reedley  0-5 0-10
Sunnyside  5-0 8-2
Hoover  3-2 3-7
McLane  1-4 1-9
Roosevelt  2-3 2-8