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Bulldogs tie Harvest Bowl series at 8-8
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The Bulldogs celebrate their sixth consecutive Harvest Bowl win on Friday evening. The final score was 41-7 (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

The Turlock High Bulldogs evened the all-time Harvest Bowl series at 8-8, after clinching six straight wins in the Harvest Bowl, including Friday night’s 41-7 win over the Pitman Pride in their 16th meeting. 

“When I took over the program man… we just were in a bad way, as far as the series being lopsided, and one of my main goals was to even that thing up and I am really proud of my team for doing that,” said Turlock High varsity football head coach James Peterson. “I felt like we did what we needed to do. Pitman had a good scheme and they shut down the run at times…and we got after it, just all in all a great team victory.”

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Chris Avalos gains yards for the Pride during the Harvest Bowl on Friday. Avalos had a sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery and scored Pitman's only touchdown of the game (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

The win is also the sixth straight for Turlock over Pitman since 2014. The last win for Pitman over Turlock was on Nov. 8, 2013 in a 27-25 final. Over the last two meetings, Turlock has outscored Pitman, 74-7.

This year, Turlock outscored league opponents, 186-61.

“It is always a good atmosphere, we just wanted to play a competitive game,” said Pitman head coach Lance Weckerle. “We just tried to get better every game. We wanted to come out and execute our game plan, and that was all we could do.”

The win also notched Turlock High’s fourth consecutive league title.  In 2016 and 2017 they notched the CCC and the past two seasons they have won the CCAL with an unblemished record.

Turlock is 22-0 in league play over that four-year stretch.

“It is exciting, since 2014 we have dropped just a couple league games… it is what I always wanted to do, been steady… guys are playing good football and we keep getting good athletes at Turlock High School,” said Peterson.

Last week’s 25-13 win over Gregori put Peterson past Tom Tyler on the all-time list of wins as the head coach for Turlock High with 68. The Harvest Bowl took him to 69.

Also, Peterson’s 69 wins across any given 10-year stretch is the most wins ever by any Turlock High football coach. Debely and Ratzlaff notched 61 wins in a given 10-year run.

The scoring started off quickly for Turlock on Friday.

They went up 7-0 after Anthony Frias scored a three-yard run with 7:17 left in the first.

Brock Paslay connected with Holden Baldwin for an 11-yard touchdown to make it 14-0 with 2:17 remaining till the start of the second.

Paslay found Baldwin again, for a 41-yard score with 9:14 left in the second and the score read 21-0.

Cade Gilbert of Turlock scored the fourth touchdown with 3:36 left after running it in from 64 yards out and the halftime score read 28-0.

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Pitman's Kendall La Rosa looks for an open target during the Harvest Bowl Friday (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

Frias notched the fifth touchdown of the game from 16-yards out with 4:35 left in the third and the lead was extended to 34-0.

Pitman’s Chris Avalos, broke the Pride scoring slump and ran it in from four yards out with 6:27 left in the game to make it 34-7. This was the Pride’s only touchdown of the game.

Luke Marson ran in the final touchdown for Turlock from 27 yards out and the score read 41-7.

“The defense played well… and I think the back-ups came in and rallied and once they settled in they started to play and I liked the Pitman sportsmanship, which allowed all our guys to play in the end, and both on the same page to let them play and it was really cool,” said Peterson. “I think and felt we had the team to defeat Pitman this year and we were not going to mess up.”

Turlock closes out the year with an 8-2 overall record and a second straight perfect CCAL season at 5-0. 

Over the last two seasons, Turlock is perfect in CCAL play at 10-0. 

Pitman breaks a record for the most losses in a single season at eight and the worst record in a single season at 2-8. It is also the program’s first losing season at the varsity level. 

“They have a lot of heart and we showed it all year, that is all I could ask of them,” Weckerle added. “I am just focused on today, we had a lot of up downs, and just proud of our guys for going out and playing hard until the final seconds.”

Next for Turlock is a berth in the Division-I Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs on Friday against an opponent and time yet to be determined. For the latest updates visit


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Turlock's defense held Pitman to one touchdown for the game (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).