Turlock High’s football team dropped its fourth consecutive game of the season on Friday, and their third straight Central California Conference contest, after a crushing loss to Atwater High on homecoming night.
The Bulldogs missed tackles, committed costly penalties, and gave up big plays to Atwater’s fast-paced offense, as the final score read 45-20.
“It’s just fundamental football right now because we’re not tackling and struggling in the secondary,” Turlock head coach James Peterson said. “We could not stop the run, and we’re just not doing too well right now.”
Atwater opened up the game with an 18-play drive that lasted over nine minutes and ended with a Victor Tiscareno touchdown. That tempo that would eventually set the pace for the game.
Turlock came back and scored the following possession after Bubba Moreno’s 56 yard run set up the Bulldogs inside the one yard line. It was senior stud Jevan Hogan that jammed it in to tie the game at six each.
The Falcons responded with another sustained drive that began at their own 26-yard-line and concluded with a TD grab by Isaiah Washington to put the Falcons up by one TD in the second with seven minutes left.
“Atwater is a fast-paced team; it was hard to stop them off the edge, they chewed off the clock and kept the ball out of our offense's hand and that hurt us,” Turlock running back Jevan Hogan said of Atwater’s stellar performance on the ground.
Turlock turned the ball over in the first play of the following drive, and that would set up the Falcons for a third consecutive scoring drive.
The Bulldogs didn't give up, however, as Hogan blasted open a 71-yard TD run that put the ‘Dogs within reach at 14-19, but that would be as close as they would come for the remainder of the game.
With key players Patrick Green and Andrew Lopez out with injuries, both the offense and defense struggled and it showed in the first half as Turlock’s offense ran a total of 13 plays as opposed to Atwater’s 46 plays that resulted in a 32-14 halftime score.
“Lopez is an 'X' factor that can tuck in good behind bodies and does a great job all around. Green, obviously he is a threat when he lines up offensively because he can do it all when he’s out there. He is a tough player so Atwater didn’t have to account for him in the end,” Peterson said of two of the team’s injured star players.
In the second half, the Falcons came out ready to play physically as they were able to sack Turlock quarterback Sean Downs multiple times. That, along with two interceptions, left the ‘Dogs crushed.
Despite a great game plan from Atwater, Hogan was still able to shine as he racked up 117 yards on the ground on only eight carries while scoring two of his team's three touchdowns.
Turlock will need to win their final two games of the season — arguably the toughest of the year — in order to have any chance at the postseason. Their campaign will begin with a matchup next week at Buhach Colony and end with the much-anticipated Harvest Bowl against Pitman on Nov. 8.