Both Turlock Christian High School and Delta Charter High School came into Friday night’s league opener eager to win their first game of the season, but it was the Eagles who came out on top with an impressive 22-8 victory over the Dragons.
“I’m just excited for the guys,” head coach Rich Goodwin said. “They’ve been working really hard and deserve this victory.”
Though the Eagles were beat in total yards — TC gathered 260 during the game while DC had 281 — their defense was able to force six turnovers on the night, allowing quarterback Liam Jones to take the reins and help his team improve to 1-0 in Central California Athletic Alliance play and 1-4 overall.
Jones had 115 total yards on the night and scored one rushing touchdown, which came in the fourth quarter.
“It feels great, especially after losing four in a row. It’s the first win I’ve ever had,” Jones said.
TC was able to improve their running and passing game during Friday night’s win, completing a 12-play drive at the end of the first half for their first score of the night, which came courtesy of a five-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Jared Muller.
After the half, an impressive 65-yard kick return from Josiah Carlson set the Eagles up for another touchdown — this time, a 27-yard bullet from Jones to Mark Wisner.
“I’m nothing without my receivers,” Jones said. “I just throw it and they catch it.”
While two of the Eagles’ three touchdowns came by way of the passing game, running backs Carlson and Kojo Bekoe-Sakyi were able to get TC near the end zone drive after drive. Bekoe-Sakyi completed the night with 101 total yards, and also had an interception early in the game.
He said the key to his performance was leaving his fears on the sideline.
“I was just really focused on finding a hole and hitting it because from the beginning of the season I was tentative, jogging and not really going hard at it, so now every time I’m just focused on really moving,” Bekoe-Sakyi said.
TC’s defense allowed just one touchdown from the Dragons on the night, which didn’t come until the fourth quarter. Additional turnovers for the Eagles included a fumble recovery and an interception from each of the Muller brothers, Jared and Evan, and the team also blocked a 31-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter.
“Our defense has always been our stronger side,” Bekoe-Sakyi said. “At the beginning of the game it was all about gaining experience and understanding what it’s like to get hit, and once we got that out of the way it was just focusing on aggression and knowing that we’ve got to be fearless and tackle the entire game.
“I think it shows a lot about who we are, that no matter where we come from we’re still gonna keep fighting and tonight it all came together and we got a win.”
Next week, TC will travel to Big Valley Christian High School in Modesto to take on the Lions at 7 p.m. The team hopes to carry their momentum into next week, Jones said.
“We’re going to take it one game at a time,” he said.