The Pump Returns to Reedley

Nov 15, 2021

Tiger Football holding the pumpTigers defeat #5 Fresno City College 34-30 to take back the pump trophy

Until after his team’s exciting 34-30 win over rival Fresno City College early Saturday night, Reedley College head football coach Rob Hartenfels didn’t realize how heavy “The Pump” was.

But he knows now.

“Heavier than it looks,” he said. “But we’ll gladly carry it back home.”

Where it will go on campus is the big question. It’s the first time the pump trophy has been on campus since 2009, and it will stay here for at least one year.

This was probably one of the most exciting finishes in the 42-game history of the Battle for the Pump, as the Tigers surged to a 34-7 lead before a furious Rams comeback fell short.

Fresno had 75 yards to finish a potential game-winning drive with 1:59 remaining. They only covered 27 as Reedley retained the Pump with an exciting 34-30 victory.

Josh Magana threw for 253 yards and four touchdowns as the Tigers finished the regular season with a 7-3 record and a Valley Conference record of 3-2. Fresno City fell to 8-2 overall and 4-1 in conference play.

Fresno City was ranked fifth in the state and third in Northern California. Reedley was ranked seventh in Nor Cal and 18th in the state.

The Tigers jumped out to a 21-7 halftime lead, equaling the most points allowed by Fresno City in the first half this season. Magana threw for 164 yards in the first 30 minutes of action, completing 5 of 7 of his throws.  The Dinuba High grad threw for two touchdowns to Shamar Kirk (Nashville, TN) for 79 and 45 yards in 3:36 of the first quarter.

Fresno City got on the board on a 63-yard drive with all but 15 yards coming on the ground. Fred Green Jr. (Immokalee, FL) ran 38 of those yards, scoring from 5 yards out with 62 seconds left in the opening quarter.

Reedley’s third touchdown came on a 9-yard option pass from Jaylin Jackson (Tampa, FL) to Jaime Ramirez (Dinuba).

One key to the first half lead was third down efficiency. The Tigers picked up first downs on seven of eight third down plays compared to one of five for the Rams.

Reedley added to their lead seven plays after Damarcus Thompson blocked a punt and the Tigers recovered. Magana connected with Dallas Parker (Victorville) for the 28-yard score. But the Rams blocked the extra point.

The Tigers forced a Fresno punt and scored six plays later to make it 34-7. Kirk pulled in his third touchdown of the night.

Two plays later, Fresno started its comeback. Quarterback Justin Holaday (Lemoore) threw touchdown passes of 45 and 28 yards to Tabari Conerly (New Orleans) and Aaron Blancas (Selma) combined with a safety on a punt snap cut the Tiger lead to 34-23 with 9:12 left.

The Tigers forced a Fresno punt and scored six plays later to make it 34-7. Kirk pulled in his third touchdown of the night.

Before the game, the Tigers honored the 15 sophomores who were playing their final regular season home game. Now, they’ll get an opportunity to wear the orange and black one more time in a bowl game (date, time and opponent TBA).

By Will Goldbeck
RC Sportswriter

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