by JUSTIN RIVERA
Golden West and El Diamante clashed for the 13th annual Battle for the Saddle on November 4, 2016. The Trailblazers boasted an impressive record of 8 wins and 1 loss while the Miners came in with a record of 5-4. This is only the 4th time the Trailblazers have won the saddle from the 13 years the rivalry has been going on. They beat the Miners 22-14, mainly due to the Trailblazers fullback, Gonzalo Rodriguez, punching in 2 touchdowns in the second half.
After the first quarter the Miners were looking good leading 7-0 coming from a rushing touchdown by Tyler Youngblood. Then the Trailblazers came back with a touchdown of their own in the second quarter from fullback Gonzalo Rodriguez. Miners had a 1 point lead coming into the second half, but that changed when Rodriguez punched in a 1 yard run late in the third quarter. They also converted for 2 points. He also scored a touchdown early in the fourth quarter giving them the lead against the Miners 22-7. The Miners were not going down that easily, scoring with 3 minutes left with a run from quarterback Parker Boswell. However, the Trailblazers proved too much for the Miners to handle.
With the win, the Trailblazers share the WYL title with the Redwood Rangers. Both programs had a (9-1) overall record and a WYL record of (5-1). The Miners hope to make a deep run in the CIF Central Section Division ll playoffs. While the Trailblazers hope to take home a valley championship by winning in CIF Central Section Division lV.