Football Blasts From The Past

Action at left is from recent Millikan of Long Beach vs. Long Beach Poly game. The 1985 game between the two schools had an unbelievable finish. At right is state record holder Ronney Jenkins from Hueneme of Oxnard when he was playing at BYU. Photos: &

Here’s another look back in time to approximately the same week of the California high school football season from five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years ago. At the end of what would have normally been the end of each of those seasons, we may go back even further. For this look back, it’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years since Hueneme High running back Ronney Jenkins broke the state and national record with 617 yards rushing in a game vs. Rio Mesa of Oxnard. We also have details on perhaps the most improbable loss in Long Beach Poly history (from 1985) and on a future NFL kicker from 40 years ago who had five field goals (including a 60-yarder) in the same game.


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Sophomore Maurice Washington scored eight TDs in a game five years ago for The King’s Academy. Photo:

5 YEARS AGO (2015)
*With our longtime photographer Willie Eashman there to see it, sophomore Maurice Washington from The King’s Academy of Sunnyvale scored eight touchdowns in a 62-49 victory over Jefferson of Daly City. Washington got the night going quickly against Jeff when he returned the opening kickoff for a 98-yard touchdown. He was hardly done. On 18 carries from scrimmage, Washington piled up 402 yards and six TDs and he scored on a 49-yard reception. It all added up to putting Washington into the state record book with his eight TDs. The eight TDs also tied the CIF Central Coast Section record set in 1996 by David Jackson of Cupertino.
*It had been more than 10 years since a California prep football player had three interception return TDs in one game, but senior Darrius Vukobradovich from Grace Brethren of Simi Valley did it in his team’s 61-7 victory on this week over Mary Star of San Pedro in the CIF Southern Section East Valley Division playoffs. Vukobradovich didn’t get his first pick six until the second quarter and with the Lancers already leading 27-7. That one was from 23 yards out. Vukobradovich, who also had 11 tackles in the game, got one from 70 yards later in the quarter and came up with his third on a 95-yard return for Grace Brethren’s final score in the fourth quarter. According to our own Cal-Hi Sports state record book, the first to have three interception return TDs in one game was Jim McClain of Tulelake in 1978. That record wasn’t matched until 1994 by Earl Kahanu of Patterson. It was tied for a third time in 2003 by Jared Billups from St. Bernard of Playa del Rey.
*For the first time in program history, Godinez of Santa Ana won a CIF Southern Section playoff game and the Grizzlies primarily had senior Bryan Ibarra to thank for it. Ibarra rushed for 401 yards and four touchdowns and he completed seven of his eight pass attempts for 126 yards and one touchdown during a 49-48 overtime win over Westminster.

10 YEARS AGO (2010)
*In what is still one of the best games between two top-ranked teams in Ventura County history, state No. 4 Westlake of Westlake Village took its first loss in a 32-31 double-overtime thriller to previous state No. 15 St. Bonaventure of Ventura. The Seraphs also snapped the Warriors’ 22-game win streak. The game came down to a two-point conversion attempt in the second overtime that St. Bonaventure converted on a pass from Marc Evans to Cody Kurz. The key to the Seraphs’ win was a defense that sacked Westlake’s Nick Isham six times and came up with two fourth down stops on two fourth quarter drives by the Warriors that went inside the five-yard line.
*Redwood Empire small school Anderson Valley of Boonville trailed Potter Valley 56-38 entering the fourth quarter of a wild-and-wacky shootout, but came from behind to grab a 68-64 victory. Potter Valley’s 64 points is one of the highest ever by a losing team in state history. Leading the Panthers to the win was Michael Blackburn. He finished with 275 yards rushing and four TDs, went for 204 yards passing and three other scores and he ran back a fumble 60 yards for a score.
*Senior Tyrone Sauls, who had been named to the all-state underclass team as a linebacker in 2009, equaled the CIF San Diego Section record at the time with seven touchdowns in a 48-26 win by the Patriots over Mission Prep of San Luis Obispo. Sauls scored on runs of 65, 12, 3, 8, 35 and 8 yards and caught a 42-yard TD pass for a total of 454 yards.

St. Mary’s of Stockton head coach Tony Franks (right) poses with former Ram and NFL rushing champion Doug Martin. Photo: @SMRamsFB /

15 YEARS AGO (2005)
*In Colton’s 57-7 romp past Los Alamitos in the CIF Southern Section Div. 1 playoffs, two-way standout Allen Bradford rang up 13 tackles and a pair of interceptions on defense. On offense, the future USC fullback/linebacker carried 17 times for 236 yards and six touchdowns. After one playoff game, Bradford had more than 140 tackles and 35 TDs on the season. Bradford later played for the Tampa Bay Bucs (team that drafted him in 2011) and several other NFL squads.
*Future two-time All-Pro running back Doug Martin scored on runs of 1, 39, 12, 79 and 36 yards and wound up with 240 yards on 19 carries as St. Mary’s of Stockton blitzed Modesto High, 55-34, in the first round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 playoffs. Martin was still an upcoming junior at the time. He led a young St. Mary’s team that started out the season 0-5 playing a tough schedule, but turned it around in its league games.
*Another future NFL running back, Lonyell Miller from Kaiser of Fontana, was among our stat stars written up on this week in 2005. Miller, who later starred at Fresno State in addition to four NFL teams, rushed for 276 yards on 22 carries to lead the Cats past Coachella Valley of Thermal, 45-8, in the CIFSS Div. VIII playoffs. Miller scored on runs of 56, 55 and 63 yards.

20 YEARS AGO (2000)
*There were two 9-0 vs. 9-0 regular season finales in the CIF Central Coast Section. One was in the south as Stevenson of Pebble Beach improved to 10-0 by beating previous 9-0 Seaside 17-7. Kris Bonifas led the Pirates with 140 yards rushing and scored on a pass reception. In the north, it was Woodside, ranked No. 1 in the state in D3, staving off a late rally to top previous 9-0 Menlo-Atherton of Atherton, 14-6. Michael Porter intercepted a pass in his own end zone late in the game to preserve the win. He also rushed for 122 yards on 19 carries and one TD.
*Highly regarded QB John Sciarra Jr. from St. Francis of La Canada ended the season on a high note. The son of the former Bishop Amat and UCLA QB connected on 14 of 17 passes fr 414 yards and three touchdowns as St. Francis got past Chaminade of West Hills 45-22. His top target was Brett Mitchell, who had seven receptions for 244 yards and two TDs.
*Also from the San Fernando Valley that same week, Montclair Prep of Van Nuys’ running back Gary Sonkur piled up 403 yards rushing on 20 carries and scored six TDs in a 55-10 triumph over Malibu.
*Also from the father-son angle that same week, there was William Buchanon of Oceanside. The son of former All-Pro defensive back Willie Buchanon, William caught seven passes for 194 yards and three TDs as the Pirates downed Ramona 47-37. Buchanon had 10 catches for 156 yards and one TD in his previous outing.

25 YEARS AGO (1995)
*Hueneme of Oxnard running back Ronney Jenkins said he was “in a zone” in his team’s 52-34 win over Rio Mesa of Oxnard on this weekend in 1995, but really it was more like from the Twilight Zone. Jenkins set a national and state record by rushing for 619 yards. He broke the previous national record of 608 set by John Bunch of Elkins, Ark., in 1974. The previous state record was 507 yards, set in 1991 by David Dotson from Valley View of Moreno Valley. Jenkins got that total on just 30 carries and scored seven TDs. The longest of those TDs were from 93, 84, 79 and 87 yards. He had 258 yards at halftime, 468 after three quarters and kept getting carries since Rio Mesa was still scoring on its end. “They told me about the record thing, but I was in a zone,” Jenkins told the L.A. Times. “I didn’t know what they were saying, really.” Jenkins’ state record is still the state record 25 years later. His national record stood for 11 years.
*The game of the week to end the regular season was state No. 2 Fontana blanking previous state No. 10 Eisenhower of Rialto 12-0 with the Citrus Belt League title at stake. It was Fontana’s fifth shutout of the season. The offense was led by junior Art Gipson, who had 37 carries for 171 yards.
*We had previously honored Ronney Jenkins as a state player of the week so for this week the nod went to Rosamond’s Jamar Day. He pushed his season rushing yardage total over 2,000 yards in leading the Roadrunners past Paraclete of Lancaster 28-27. Day rushed for 173 yards on 33 carries with one TD, scored on a 85-yard kickoff return and blocked a field goal attempt by the Spirits with 11 seconds left that potentially could have won the game.

30 YEARS AGO (1990)
*Regular season stat champions included Glendale junior running back Pathon Rucker with 194 points and 30 TDs in 10 games. A junior also was top for rushing yards as David Dotson from Valley View of Moreno Valley had 2,493 yards in 10 games. The other regular season stat champs were John Walsh of Carson for passing yards (3,449 yards in 10 games), Walsh for touchdown passes (38 in 10 games) and Greg Siwek from Monta Vista of Cupertino. Siwek’s total of 1,560 yards receiving in 10 regular season games also wound up leading the state for overall passing yards even though the Matadors didn’t get into the CIF Central Coast Section playoffs that year.

35 YEARS AGO (1985)
*One of the worst losses in the long, glorious history of Long Beach Poly took place in November of 1985. The Jackrabbits were 8-0 and were No. 1 in the state and No. 4 in the nation and had not yet even surrendered one touchdown on defense. They were playing Millikan of Long Beach in a Moore League game and it sure looked like they were going to escape a spirited upset bid by the Rams when they recovered a fumble with just 59 seconds left and had a 13-9 lead. With just 20 seconds left, however, Long Beach Poly QB Michael Herring unbelievably tried to pass. That pass was intercepted by Millikan’s Bob Brown, and then with only five seconds left Cliff Mosley threw a 12-yard TD pass to Ed Robinson to give the Rams a stunning 15-13 victory. After the recovered fumble, Poly players were celebrating their apparent win, but reportedly even some of them reacted in disbelief when the pass play was attempted.
*Firebaugh is known today as the home school of NFL quarterback sensation Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills, but 35 years ago it was the home school of Craig Maxwell, one of the state’s top rushers and scorers. In a 33-10 triumph against McFarland, Maxwell rushed for 187 yards and one TD, reached the end zone on an 84-yard kickoff return plus he scored on a 25-yard fumble return. That put Maxwell with 158 points scored in eight games. He was even the team’s kicker and at that point in the season he had two field goals.
*Another quite versatile player in the CIF Central Section in 1985 was Edison of Fresno QB Dave Barnett. He led the Tigers to a 43-27 win over Sanger on this week of the season with three TD passes and two TD runs. Dave was an even better basketball player at Edison and probably would have been all-state grid-hoop if we had started those teams back then. We also had to give a shout out to him since he’s the younger brother of our great friend Bob Barnett, the longtime CIF Central Section historian.

40 YEARS AGO (1980)
*Playing winless Arroyo of El Monte in a lopsided win, Mountain View of El Monte quarterback Max Shubin set a state record at the time with 36 completions and moved to fourth for single game passing yards with 471 yards. Shubin also had five TD passes and pushed his final regular season totals to 2,557 yards and 24 TDs. He broke the previous regular season state record of 2,525 set in 1976 by Ron Cuccia from Wilson of Los Angeles.
*This might be the best single-game kicking game in state history. It happened in 1980 in a 15-13 win by Don Lugo of Chino over Claremont. All 15 of Don Lugo’s points came by virtue of five field goals from its kicker, Luis Zendejas. The five field goals tied the state record of five set in 1970 by Dave Dunwoodie of Huntington Park. But the even bigger news was the one of Luis’ field goals came from 60 yards out. It was the first 60-yarder in state history and is still in the top five on the all-time state list. Luis later kicked in the NFL for three teams. His son, Christian Zendejas, is currently kicking at Arizona State.
*Madera and Fresno had a wild game that the Coyotes won 55-31. Reggie Henderson of Madera churned for 380 yards rushing on 25 carries and scored five TDs on runs of 39, 2, 75, 63 nd 83 yards. Fresno’s Bill Prindle kept his team close by rushing for 269 yards on 16 carries and scored three times, including one on 79-yard scamper.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports

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