It’s been a record-breaking year for Hilmar High football.
History was made on Saturday when the Yellowjackets captured the program’s first state title after shutting out Strathmore High, 49-0, in the CIF Division 6-AA Championship game.
“It is surreal… it is a dream come true. I just can’t believe that it actually happened, it is a great feeling,” said Hilmar head coach Frank Marques. “We had to have it here, if we were going to win a state title, I wanted it to be here at home. Big shout out to our ground crew, the maintenance crew and we are really blessed to have a support staff to allow us to play here and the fact that all of Hilmar showed up to support us, such a great community.”
Saturday's win was especially sweet as the Yellowjackets lost the state title to Strathmore last year in double overtime.
“We didn’t even care about state champs, the only thing we cared about was Strathmore,” said Hilmar’s Isaac Sharp. “I mean they beat us in double overtime last year, it ruined our miracle season, so honestly this was redemption.”
Since that moment, redemption has been on the minds of the veteran players.
“It was more than winning a state title, it was more like redemption because you can see all over our school it says 53-52 all around and that is what we worked for all season,” said Hilmar’s Bryan Millan. “It is what we came out ready to do, every single person on this team worked for this.”
The Yellowjackets held Strathmore to just 47 rushing yards along with 39 passing yards (86 total).
Hilmar’s offense finished the game with 282 rushing yards, and 109 passing to tally 391.
“Feels pretty great, no real words to explain it being state champs. It is something you only dream about,” said Sharp, who finished with three touchdowns. “It is honestly such a great feeling, there is a great tradition here ... and I appreciate this community and everything they do for us.”
Sharp tallied 81 yards on 14 carries while teammate Justin Rentfro had 141 rushing yards on eight carries. Quarterback Treven Crowley completed 6 of 9 for 109 yards and three touchdown passes. Brennan Mason finished the game with a pair of sacks for Hilmar.
Hilmar dominated the state final from the start.
They kicked off with a scoring drive on their first possession of the night. It took eight plays for Hilmar to get on the board after Sharp found the end zone for the first of three scores, running it in from six yards out to take a 7-0 lead with 9:24 in the first.
Hilmar’s defense stymied Strathmore on their next two possessions and forced punts, along with no yards.
Following Strathmore’s second straight punt, Hilmar went up 14-0 when Sharp found the end zone from 11 yards out with 1:33 to go in the first.
Strathmore followed up with their longest drive of the game that went 11 plays but they missed a field goal and Hilmar capitalized on it.
They went on a 14-play scoring drive for their third touchdown that ended with a Crowley pass to Millan for 20-yards to make it 21-0.
Millan scored his second touchdown of the game on a one-play scoring drive after Crowley heaved a perfect pass down the sideline and Millan ran past everyone for 58 yards and to take a 28-0 lead into halftime.
Sharp scored his third touchdown on a 14-yard run that extended the lead to 35-0 with 9:07left in the third.
Crowley found Aidan Azevedo on the corner end zone for a 14-yard touchdown pass that made it 42-0 with 2:37 left in the third.
David Amaral scored the final touchdown for Hilmar in the final seven minutes after a nine-yard run and the game ended 49-0.
“God is great… we follow through with our plans, we executed and we came out and worked hard all week… I came with an injured ankle but I brought it out and I thank God for what He gave me and thankful for staying healthy,” Millan added.
Hilmar’s 13-2 record also marks it as the most successful season after winning a section and state title.