It was a long, rough night for Chowchilla High on Friday when it traveled to Hilmar High to face off against the Yellowjackets. After driving roughly 40 miles to McSweeney Field, the Redskins were hard fought to cover any more ground against the ‘Jackets’ defense as they netted -2 yards of total offense and managed to convert one first down all game.
As Hilmar dominated on defense, its new, fast-paced offense was running on all cylinders. With the majority of their production coming via the passing game, the ‘Jackets put up 32 points in a shutout victory to remain undefeated after three weeks of play.
“We threw the ball well and we were able to do the things we wanted to do. The tempo was good; this was probably the best performance we’ve had so far,” Hilmar head coach Frank Marques said.
Junior quarterback Jonathan O’Brien led the charge for Hilmar as he threw for 152 yards—all in the first half—and a touchdown on top of 38 rushing yards. While the offense was driven by the passing game, the first touchdown of the night was a product of a two-yard plunge from Bailey Gomes in the first quarter. O’Brien connected with Trent Orosco from a yard out in the final minutes of the half, marking the end of his night of passing as he handed the ball off in the second half before being relieved by senior quarterback Beau Balswick in the fourth quarter.
“He’s getting better every game. He still has some things we need to work on and polish up on, but I’m pretty happy,” Marques said.
There were some hitches for Hilmar, however, as they were forced to settle for field goals on several possessions. Devon Medeiros went 3 for 5 from the kicking tee as he split the uprights from 31 yards, 25 yards, and 41 yards.
As Hilmar steadily put points on the board, Redskin quarterback Patrick Flanagan was routinely harassed and frustrated by the combination of David Bisby, Joseph Bello, Robert Lindo, and Jacob Smith. In addition to allowing only one first down and no positive yards, Hilmar’s defense also forced a safety when a Chowchilla long snap sailed out of the back of the end zone on a punt attempt.
“Those guys are unbelievable,” Marques said of his defense. “We’re able to sub guys out so they’re only going one way and that helps out a lot.”
Hilmar finished with 421 yards of total offense and recorded 25 first downs.
The ‘Jackets play at home again next week when they host Fresno High in the final pre-league game of the season.