When Turlock High head football coach James Peterson constructed his team’s preseason schedule for this season, he knew very well what he was getting them into.
Earlier in the week, Peterson acknowledged the fact that they could go winless heading into Central California Athletic League play.
“This schedule is designed to get us better for league, and to show these boys where they need to be come playoff time,” he told the Turlock Journal. “These are the types of teams that we’re going to see late in the season.”
In Friday’s home game against the Folsom Bulldogs, the 74th ranked team in the nation and the 16th ranked team in the state, according to MaxPreps.com, the Turlock roster was pushed to their limit in a 49-7 loss.
By the end of the first quarter, Turlock found itself in a 28-0 hole. Things only became harder when starting quarterback Vincent Gonzales was removed from the game midway through the second quarter with a concussion. The score was 35-0 at halftime.
Turlock’s offensive game plan early on was to run the ball, but the Folsom defense littered with players over 6-foot tall and 200 pounds held them to 40 total yards in the first half and 155 yards by game’s end. As for Turlock’s defense, they had little to offer Folsom’s high-powered offense led by sophomore quarterback Ryder Lyons, who has received college offers from Notre Dame and Oregon.
Lyons was surgical in the pocket, picking the Turlock secondary apart for 324 yards and 4 touchdowns. His favorite target was fellow sophomore and Oregon offered Jameson Powell, who snagged 9 catches for 108 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The lone Turlock score came courtesy of a 3-yard dart from junior backup quarterback Colten Mauksch to senior wideout Hunter Kincaid with 4:10 left in the game.
With the loss, Turlock’s record drops to 0-4 to start the 2023 campaign. Next week, Turlock welcomes the Ugly Eagles of Clayton Valley Charter to Joe Debely Stadium.
Despite the funny name for their mascot, it’s going to take a week of focus and adjustment from Turlock to be able to have fun against the team and avoid going 0-5 in the preseason, as the Ugly Eagles are the 68th ranked team in the state, according to MaxPreps. For context, there are 1,043 teams in the website’s high school football rankings, and Turlock lands at 136th.