The first ever Central California Athletic League football champions are Turlock High after they completed a perfect season in league play on Friday from Joe Debely, with a 33-0 shutout over previously unbeaten Pitman High in Harvest Bowl 15.
“We keep finding a way to win and tonight was no different,” said Turlock head coach James Peterson. “As a head coach you look at all the things in between and we made a lot of spectacular plays and for the most part as a head coach I saw the mistakes and things we have to get better at.”
“You never know with rivalries, brothers in the city you could call it, and it’s a backyard brawl and when brothers get in a brawl you try to step out of the way and take care of it,” said Pitman coach Chris Wolfley. “I think the game got away from us a little bit. Turlock is good, obviously, and we don’t want to make excuses but we were down four starters tonight and it made a big difference.”
The win also marked the third straight year that Turlock has won a league title and the fifth straight win over Pitman. Pitman last won in 2013.
The series is nearly tied with Pitman leading all time 8-7.
Turlock also outgained Pitman in overall yards.
Turlock tallied 390 total yards on offense while Pitman had 152 total yards—43 of which came in the final drive. Pitman was forced to punt the ball eight times for the game.
It didn’t help that Pitman was also dealing with four starters out due to injury, including wide receiver standout Denzel Steckwren who proved he was one of the most explosive wide outs in the CCAL this year after finishing with over 500 yards receiving.
Pitman’s unblemished record is over as they end the regular season at 9-1.
Turlock goes to 7-3 overall and 5-0 in league.
“Playing a tough preseason schedule is hard because we went a lot of weeks where we took some tough losses and then we had a bye week and our team morale was tough during those times,” said Peterson. “I told our guys to trust in the process and keep playing for each other and play one snap at a time and we’ve been doing that and despite all the things that may cost us, we find ways to win.”
Turlock scored on their second drive of the game after Jonah Kosakiewicz zipped a pass to Cam Sherwood in between double coverage, then he sprinted down the sideline for a 68-yard score with 5:01 left in the first to make it 7-0.
The second touchdown was scored by Kosakiewicz who ran it in from 12-yards out on a nine-yard drive, that extended the lead to 14-0 with 7:18 remaining till the half.
The Bulldogs extended the lead to 21-0 with 1:10 left till half after Kosakiewicz found Sherwood for the second score from four yards out.
Christian Gardner then leveled a 43-yard field goal with 1.1 left on the clock and the halftime score read 24-0.
Gardner added a second field goal from 23-yards out with 5:34 left in the third to make it 27-0.
Anthony Frias scored the final touchdown for Turlock on a 55-yard run with 6:18 left in the game, and a failed two-point conversion made it 33-0.
Both Turlock and Pitman advance to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs with their opponents and times yet to be determined. For updated brackets check cifsjs.org.
“Sacramento schools don’t get any easier and we will really work on it this week,” Peterson added. “I don’t know what we need to do but we have to get back to the film and get back to the grind and work hard and try to get this thing back on track. We just want to play better and make a run in the playoffs.”