Football: Golden West runs wild in win
The Trailblazers ran for over 400 yards in a dominant home win against Nipomo
By Jermaine Johnson II @Jerm_10
VISALIA – The Golden West football team is firing on all cylinders.
After a 39-17 win against Nipomo, they are now 3-0 on the season and have scored 128 points. They have won each of those games by at least 11 points while allowing no more than 17 points.
Head coach Paul Preheim described the win as one of the top five games he has ever been a part of during his time at Golden West.
“We played well at levels, the players really wanted this game badly,” he said. “It was all around effort from the offense and defense plus the student section was loud and cheered positively all night.”
He also emphasized how well his team was able to perform against a tough Nipomo defense that had two of the best line backers they will compete against all season.
The Titans had allowed only 27 points and 214 rushing yards through their first two games. Conversely, they had not played an offense as potent at the Trailblazers. Golden West scored 13 points in the opening quarter on the way to a 39 point effort on the night.
The running game carried a heavy load as they accumulated every single one of Golden West’s 474 yards of offense. They only attempted three passes for no completions and one interception.
Junior Lonnie Wessel is on an incredible pace for rushing yards. He accounted for over half of the team’s yards with 262 plus four scores. After three games, he is just a few yards shy of 600. He is on pace for nearly 2,000 rushing yards.
Jacob Salazar also made his presence felt throughout the game, racking up 110 rushing yards on eight carries.
Wessel was more than a handful on both sides of the ball, as he also led the team in tackles. He finished with 17 total tackles, eight of them solo, and a sack. His twin brother Michael was very active on defense as well, with eight tackles and an interception.
Additionally, Coach Preheim spoke very highly of senior safety Michael Velasquez, stating that he swarmed the ball on seemingly every play. He finished with five solo tackles, five assisted tackles, five passes defended, and an interception.
Moving forward, the Trailblazers will be playing the rest of their games this season in Visalia. They will either be at home or on the road against the other Visalia teams. Coach Preheim is grateful that the schedule fell that way, as they can prepare a lot better.
“Traveling takes a lot out of you, especially those long bus rides. Our longest bus ride now will be about five minutes,” he said.
Next week, Madera South will be the team taking a long bus ride into town. The Stallions are 1-1 on the season ming off of their first win in about two years. The game is on Thursday, Sept. 12.