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Bulldogs take down undefeated Panthers
Adelo Fields and the Turlock defense celebrate after a sack on Modesto. The defense made it tough for Modesto to score a majority of the game. Turlock won 38-6. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

The Turlock High Bulldogs knew what they were up against on Friday as they faced the Modesto High Panthers.


“Three and zero teams are that way for a reason,” said head coach James Peterson. “It’s because they’re a good football team.”


Though the Panthers came into Friday night’s game with an undefeated record, the Bulldogs stormed into the contest fresh off a big win over Tracy High School which gave them their first win of the season. Last week’s success was repeated in Turlock’s matchup against Modesto this week, with the Bulldogs coming out on top, 38-6.


“I think the discipline and the things that we showed in the Tracy game just carried over into tonight, and for the most part we played a sound football game,” said Peterson.


The Bulldogs were able to put points on the board quickly, driving down the field to the Panthers’ 44-yard line with eight minutes left in the first quarter.  Dallin Tilby made the score 3-0 as his kick soared between the uprights.


Turlock scored the majority of their points in the game’s first half. Forty-three seconds into the second quarter, quarterback Danny Velasquez ran for 27 yards into the end zone, bringing the score to 10-0. Minutes later, Mark Flores completed a 13-yard run for a touchdown to make the score 17-0.


On the Bulldogs’ next possession, Velasquez was able to escape a sack, completing a 19-yard pass to Cameran Sherwood with just over four minutes left in the half. This led to a two-yard touchdown run from Flores, making the score 24-0.


Turlock once again had an impressive night defensively, holding the Panthers to just 50 total yards in the first half.


“We always say, ‘hustle to the ball, float to the ball and all hats on the ball,’” said linebacker Mustafa Johnson. “If everyone’s on the ball, we’re going to hit them for a loss.”


While Johnson is known on the field for his defensive ability, the linebacker was able to contribute offensively Friday night. To begin the second half, Johnson tipped and intercepted a pass from the Modesto quarterback, running 16 yards into the end zone and giving the Bulldogs a 31-0 lead.


“First, I was thinking that I needed to secure the ball,” said Johnson. “After that, I just ran.”


After forcing yet another punt from Modesto, a common theme for the night, the Bulldogs scored once again after an impressive drive down the field. After a 36-yard run to the Panthers’ 14-yard line from Velasquez, the Bulldog quarterback leaped over a pile of blue, gold, red and black, falling into the end zone for his second touchdown of the night, making the score 38-0.


Modesto was unable to score until the last five minutes of the game by way of a fumbled snap that was returned for a touchdown, bringing the final score of the game to 38-6.


“We rose to the occasion tonight,” said Peterson.


Turlock will take on Buhach Colony next week at 7 p.m. According to Athletic Director Mike Brown, the game is expected to be played at Joe Debely Stadium.