For the second straight season, the Bell Game between Tulare Union and Tulare Western meant the winner would become the East Yosemite League Champion. In this, their 52nd meeting, the Tribe of Tulare Union avenged their loss last year by beating the Mustangs 48-27.
The Tribe were able to get on the board first, after they forced a turnover on downs from the Mustangs. Union were able to methodically move the ball down the field, and capped off the 80-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown run from running back Kazmeir Allen.
After a quick three-and-out from the Mustangs, the Tribe got the ball back and put up another seven points on a 30-yard-touchdown pass from quarterback Nathan Lamb to wide receiver Emoryie Edwards. Edwards had to beat double coverage to make the diving catch in the end zone.
After going scoreless in the first quarter, the Mustangs were able to put together a 10-play touchdown drive early in the second quarter on a touchdown run from running back David Alcantar.
The Tribe were able to answer right back with a score of their own. Lamb had the second of his four touchdown passes, on a 20-yard completion to Josh Guerrero.
Mustangs answered back themselves, after a controversial pass interference penalty in the end zone put them inside the Tribe 10-yard line. On the next play, quarterback Andre Aguilar kept the ball himself, and ran into the end zone for an eight-yard score. That made the score 21-14 at the half, Tulare Union with the lead.
With the Tribe receiving the ball to open the second half, they were able to move the ball down the field again, but ran into a 4th down, and six from the Mustang 36-yardline. Union decided to go for it, and Lamb completed a 36-yard touchdown pass to star wide-receiver Edwards.
The Mustangs and Tribe traded touchdown scores for the rest of the 3rd quarter. The scores were highlighted by a 49-yard touchdown pass from Lamb to Edwards for Union. Then on the first play of the next Mustang drive, an 80-yard touchdown pass from Aguilar to Keyshawn Butler. Heading into the 4th quarter, the Tribe held a 35-27 lead.
For the Tribe, their running back Allen would own the scoring in the 4th quarter, scoring the only two touchdowns for both teams. He ran one in from 35 yards out, and then closed out the scoring late in the 4th with a six-yard scamper into the end zone for his third score.
For the Mustangs, their quarterback Aguilar, threw for two touchdowns, and ran in another one. On the Union side, Lamb threw for four scores, three to Edwards.
Lamb, who is playing in his first ever Bell game, as a sophomore, and transfer from Mt Whitney high school, was impressed with atmosphere in his first experience with the rivalry, “The crowd was great. There were so many people in the crowd. There really is an amazing sense of community here.”
Lamb went on to talk about his team’s chances once they begin the CIF playoffs, “Our ceiling is high. We have great skill players on both ends, I’m confident that we can get to Valley.