The Turlock High varsity football team lost their starting tight end, played without their star quarterback —who helped lead the Bulldogs to their first ever Central California Athletic League title — and still shutout No. 11 Cosumnes Oaks on Friday, 28-0, in the first round of the Division-I Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
“Definitely coming off that Harvest Bowl win, I told the guys that it is a big one at home,” said Turlock’s Lucas Curtis, who had three touchdowns. “Not many chances to host a playoff game and do this. (It was a) special moment. We had some guys go down and Jonah has been hurt and we are trying to keep him healthy. Then Cam goes down and it shows we have depth. We came in and put up 28 points on the board and it was an amazing team win.”
The win also gives Turlock their second straight shutout victory and their eighth win of the year.
“I think for the most part we got together, some things were not going our way, we persevered, battled through that, had our quarterback go down, tight end,” said Turlock head coach James Peterson. “So, a lot of things we had to battle back from and I thought that everyone did a really good job owning their role. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but we found a way to win the game and we are moving on to the second round.”
The Bulldogs advance to take on No. 3 Oak Ridge (7-3) on the road next Friday.
Curtis finished Friday’s game with 13 carries and tallied 91 rushing yards and scored three times.
Back-up quarterback Brock Paslay, who stepped in for an injured Jonah Kosakiewicz, was 9 of 13 and tossed for 125 yards including a touchdown and a pair of picks.
“In the game against Pitman Jonah went down and they told me to play and go in, and Monday and Tuesday he couldn’t practice and decision was made Thursday and now we are here,” said Paslay. “My first start was against Modesto. I’ve been preparing like I’ve been starting, nothing changed; we both play quarterback, the same position, nothing changed. Lot of respect to the defense, offensive line did their job and all our skill players did well.”
Anthony Frias of Turlock finished with 60 yards on 12 carries.
The story of the game, however, was the defense of Turlock who held Cosumnes Oaks to just 70 first half yards. CO had just 27 yards prior to the final two plays in the second quarter to end the half.
“Our defense stepped in a huge way again tonight, pretty good day for us,” said Curtis.
Turlock scored one touchdown in each quarter with Curtis opening it up first after the Bulldog defense held CO to just 13 yards after their first two drives.
On their second drive, Turlock marched down the field for a 12-play scoring drive that ended with a Curtis eight-yard run that made it 7-0 with 35 seconds left in the first.
The next three drives resulted in punts, until Turlock marched down again for an 11-play scoring drive that saw Paslay connect with Casey Carr for a 23-yard touchdown pass that extended the lead to 14-0 with 4:40 left in the second and that was the halftime score.
Curtis scored on a two-yard run to open up the third quarter after Turlock went on a 10-play scoring drive that made it 21-0 with 7:39 left in the third.
Turlock put the nail in the coffin with stingy defensive plays and the offense put any doubt away as they put up their fourth touchdown when Curtis ran it in from 18-yards out to make it 28-0.
“First round wins, that is something that has plagued us in the past, not getting those wins so if we can come out and get that win it makes me happy as a head coach,” said Peterson.
From 2014-2017, Turlock has gone 1-3 in the playoffs, losing three first round games in 2017, 2015 and 2014.
Turlock will next travel to El Dorado Hills east of Sacramento to take on Oak Ridge at 7 p.m. Friday.
“We have to take it practice by practice. You can’t look too far ahead, have to prepare and not change a thing. What we’ve been doing has been working so we will be ready for next Friday,” Curtis added.