The Hilmar High Yellowjackets football squad finished the 2013 regular season with a perfect 10-0 record for the first time since 2004.
The historic ending came after the ‘Jackets visited Hughson High on Friday night for a Trans Valley League finale, taking it to them with a second half surge as they rolled over the Huskies 31-6.
“To be honest, I thought we had a good chance from the preseason to be successful,” Hilmar head coach Frank Marques said. “I was confident. This is the only time I had that feeling because the kids worked so hard."
It was a battle in the first half, though, as Hilmar came out on top 3-0 after reaching the red zone four times, failing to score three of those possessions. They struggled to put up points with the Huskies defense holding their own, but a break was all that was needed to recover for the ‘Jackets.
“What happened was our defense played so well and our offense struggled when we got in the red zone,” Marques said. “We got calm at half time. Everybody took a deep breath and all went smooth in the second. We just needed to calm everybody down; the kids were a bit hyped because of a perfect season.”
The second was a devouring performance for the offense led by junior quarterback Jonathan O’Brien, who was able to tack on an impressive four touchdown passes.
Tyler Robinson led all receivers for the game as he caught the first three touchdown passes from O’Brien for a 5-yard, 60-yard and finally a 25-yard grab.
Hudson Harris was able to snag in the final TD grab as he broke free for 50-yards in the closing minutes.
“We got to the red zone a few times (four) and made mistakes but our defense kept us in the game along with the offense getting things rolling in the second half,” Marques said.
The ‘Jackets defense has been a terrorizing force all season long, allowing on average only 9.2 points per game. On the offensive side, they average 37 points per game, scoring a season-low 28 in two earlier contests.
“Key to success was unity; because there are no individuals we just have a complete team,” Marques said. “We are well-rounded; we do a little bit of everything pretty good. We like to spread the ball as much as possible offensively and defensively.”
O’Brien tallied 259 yards in the air with four TDs. Robinson was able to top out with three TD receptions for the game along with over 100 yards.
After Friday’s win, Hilmar (6-0, CCC) has clinched home field advantage throughout the CIF Sac-Joaquin D-IV playoffs and will play next Friday against a team yet to be announced.