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Hilmar runs through Hughson for key TVL victory
hilmar football
Hilmar's Luis Vargas is dragged down by a Hughson Husky. Vargas rushed for 198 yards during Hilmar's 49-26 victory over Hughson (SAMANTHA SCHMIDT/The Journal).

Even Hilmar coach Frank Marques was too fast for his pursuers.

Following the Yellowjackets’ dominating 49-26 Trans-Valley League victory over Hughson on Friday, several players grabbed the Gatorade bucket for the traditional postgame dousing of their head coach.

Marques sniffed it out and backpedaled away from the splash, barely getting his feet wet.

It was that kind of night for Hilmar. Anytime the Yellowjackets needed an extra gear to leave a Hughson defender in the dust — they found it, running for several long touchdowns enroute to more than 600 yards of total offense.

Running back Luis Vargas carried the ball 17 times for 191 yards, sophomore quarterback Caden Bailey had 181 yards rushing and 154 yards passing, and receiver Derek Taylor had 75 yards rushing and 75 yards receiving.

“Our running game has been good all year,” said Marques, whose team is the lone TVL team with an unblemished league record at 4-0. “We keep it simple and stick to what we do, which is run basic plays.”

Hilmar (5-3) has played in four consecutive Sac-Joaquin Section championship games (not counting the COVID season) and has played in numerous big games in recent seasons. The Huskies (7-2 overall, 4-1 TVL), meanwhile, have not been in such meaningful games lately and it showed on the game’s opening series.

Hughson had a fumble (recovered), a false-start penalty and a botched snap on a punt attempt during its first series.

Hilmar took over on the Hughson 10 for its first possession and Bailey calmly swept around the right end for a 6-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.

“Each and every week I’m feeling more confident,” said Bailey, who replaced senior Hudson Azevedo on Sept. 10 after the senior went out with an injured shoulder. “We came in here ready to play. We knew they were a good football team, but we came in did what we do.”

The Yellowjackets’ defense forced a three-and-out on Hughson’s second possession and Hilmar again marched down the field. But a fumble inside the 5 gave the Huskies a bit of momentum that they quickly squandered with a penalty for having 12 men on the field. That made it first-and-15 and, four plays later, they turned the ball over on downs at their own 28.

Hilmar took advantage and scored five plays later on Bailey’s second TD of the game. Vargas’ run for two points made it 14-0.

After another three-and-out by the Huskies, Hilmar made it 21-0 on Taylor’s 8-yard TD run.

Hughson then turned the ball over and downs once again, and Hilmar made it 28-0 on an 86-yard run by Vargas.

“We have to keep our heads high the next two weeks,” said Vargas. “We have to keep it up.”

In the second half, the Yellowjackets would get two more TD runs from Bailey — one a 26-yard scamper and the other an 80-yard sprint between the hash marks. Taylor would score his second TD of the contest on a 29-yard jaunt.

“I think we’re playing good football right now,” said offensive lineman Landon Gomes.


Hughson vs Hilmar | The Blitz Season 10

Hughson vs Hilmar | The Blitz Season 10 The Blitz has coverage from the thrilling matchup between Hughson High and Hilmar High to decide the Trans Valley League title that took place on October 14, 2022. Sponsored By: Realtor Michael Rocha
By: Frankie Tovar

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