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New kid on the block leads Buchanan to big win over Clovis West

Ian Kirby has the right stuff as the soph throws three TDs in first varsity start while heralded running back Kendall Milton scores three times in second half in 45-21 win.

Sophomore quarterback Ian Kirby threw for 194 yards and three touchdowns in Buchanan’s 45-21 win over Clovis West (PHOTO BY AN EYE FOR IT ALL PHOTOGRAPHY)

CLOVIS — The section is on alert: Buchanan has found a new quarterback.

And when you combine the new kid with one of the top running backs in the nation, well, that spells trouble for opponents with a capital T.

Led by calm, cool and collected sophomore quarterback Ian Kirby’s three TD passes and Kendall Milton’s three explosive second half scores, the Bears routed Clovis West 45-21 with 530 yards of offense withstanding an impressive performance from the Golden Eagle pass/catch combo of Bradley Senneway to David Pierro to improve to 4-3 on the season and 1-1 in league.

“He came out this game and gave it his all and put on a show,” Milton said of Kirby. “I’m proud of him.”

Kirby, brought up from JV just two weeks ago, replaced injured starter D.J. Stevenson and threw touchdown passes of 15 and 43 yards to senior Brandon Hernandez in the first half and a 67-yarder to Milton in the third quarter on homecoming at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

And Coach Giordano, what do you think about that Kirby kid?

“I’m very impressed by Ian Kirby, he hasn’t blinked,” Bears’ head coach Matt Giordano said. “He has that aggressive mentality and he’s not afraid to throw the ball downfield.”

The baby-faced 5-foot-9, 170 pounder, who was inserted into the Central game last week just before halftime, finished 10-16 for 194 yards. And just think; there were five drops, two which would have been long touchdowns. 

Kirby was so unknown when he took the field in the loss to Central, the P.A. announcer didn’t know his name.  

“It was crazy, last week I was a little nervous but this week I got the word I was starting and throughout the game I kept feeling better and better,” Kirby said. “I’m still getting used to it a little bit but I felt pretty good tonight.”

Kendall Milton exploded for three touchdowns in the second half. He Georgia commit rushed for TDs of 47 and 67 and caught a 67 yarder. (PHOTO BY AN EYE FOR IT ALL PHOTOGRAPHY)

With Milton, it certainly helps that a 5-star recruit is in the backfield. Milton missed three games early in the season with an injury but came out with a vengeance against Clovis West (3-4) after rushing 16 times for 89 yards and two touchdowns against Central. 

The Georgia commit unleashed a 47-yard TD run on the second play from scrimmage after half and ripped off a 67-yard run down the right sideline with 7:34 left in the third for a 31-14 lead. 

Despite Buchanan’s quick strike offense in the second half, Clovis West (3-4) would not go away, mainly due to Senneway (21-32 for 258 yards) and junior David Pierro (16 catches for 162). Pierro actually started at quarterback after Senneway was hurt in last week’s 41-13 win over Clovis North and was limited in practice all week. 

But Senneway, a strong-armed senior and all-league baseball player, entered the game late in the first quarter and kept the Golden Eagles within striking rage all game. The strong-armed senior threw two touchdowns in the third quarter, one to Dewayne Benjamin for 11 yards and to Pierro for 5, the second one cutting the lead to 31-21 with 4:20 left in the third. 

But Milton’s 67-yard TD run put the game out of reach two plays later.  

“Our offensive coaches put a great game plan together and we wanted to be in attack mode,” Giordano said. “I like that mentality a lot.”

Dante Lawson added a 2-yard TD run last in the fourth quarter and Cyrus Lo and Dustin Taschler each had an interception for the Bears. 

“It feels great,” Milton said about the win. “Coming off of injuries that affected me at the beginning of the season and being able to take that [Central] loss and bounce back and come out with a dominant game is a great feeling,” 

Buchanan will next play Clovis (4-3) at Lamonica Stadium while Clovis West takes on Clovis East (3-4) at Veterans.

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