For the second time in three years the Hilmar Yellowjackets varsity football team is heading to the semifinal round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
This after a resounding defeat over Mariposa on Friday night that resulted in a 51-22 walloping after holding the Grizzlies to only 51 rushing yards for the game in the Division-VI bracket.
“They came out hard. This game was not given to us, we just worked hard and they didn’t stop. Even in the second half they came out battling,” said Hilmar’s Brandon Almeida. “They just wanted to get at us any way they could. I give it to them, they came out strong.”
“It’s a reward for the hard work these kids have done, they will keep working hard and it’s just another football game,” said Hilmar head coach Frank Marques. “I thought we came in and did everything we needed to do.”
The 'Jackets dominated from the line and really in all facets of the game.
“This past week, we had the best practice we have had all year. I mean, we just went crazy and did everything we needed to right to prepare for this game,” said Almeida who played on both sides of the ball along with numerous others. “They run our offense so we knew what we were doing.”
Hilmar’s first string offensive unit could not be stopped by Mariposa after an uneasy first quarter.
The 'Jackets ran it down the Grizzlies' throats with the power run game for the last three quarters after leading just 13-7 by the start of the second quarter.
Cody Rentrfo nudged in a one-yard run to put the ‘Jackets up 20-7 by the start of the second and before the half ended they had tacked on two more touchdowns after Klay Farris caught a six-yard pass followed by a Nick Olivera 70-yard grab before the end of the first half.
The line for Hilmar was in top form, running behind Josh Jennings' 78 yards on 10 carries and Daniel Teixeira’s 60 after 13 carries.
“Our game plan is always to execute on Friday nights and we did tonight,” said Hilmar’s right tackle Gabe Aguilar. “We started off slow but the scoreboard said otherwise and we will be ready for next week. If we control what we do then the backs do their job and we work as a unit like we did tonight.”
Teixeira was 7-for-10 with three touchdowns and a pick and Alex Chavez caught three for 98 yards and a score.
By the start of the third quarter, it was evident that the game was out of reach for Mariposa when Hilmar put together two scoring drives within four minutes into the third and with a 48-7 lead, it was essentially over.
The defense held Mariposa to only 291 total yards of offense and also picked off Mariposa’s Jake Mayberry three times along with multiple sacks as Hilmar rolled into their fifth straight victory behind seven touchdowns.
“Our starters did everything we asked them to do and then our second string kids got to play, it was a great night,” said Marques.
Next for Hilmar will be the semifinal meeting at home against No. 3 Ripon Christian at 7 p.m. Friday.
“We treat every opponent with a blind face so we prepare for everyone the same and we take it day by day and we will execute every practice,” said Aguilar.
“The rule is to keep playing. It's high school football, anything can happen and so we've been in Ripon Christian’s shoes before where we beat teams we shouldn’t have so we are going to take them serious,” Marques added. “We do the best we can, if we keep playing the way we are, I really like our chances.”