Friday was hotter than most September nights, but the Hilmar Yellowjackets still had a game to play as they hosted Lathrop High in the team’s latest start of the season due to extremely high temperatures.
The time was pushed, but the humidity and heat still carried into the game’s 8:42 p.m. start time for Week 2 action.
Hilmar was coming off a 21-14 win the week before to Beyer and was looking to topple Lathrop in back-to-back seasons and they did just that with the help of Tristan Crowley’s five touchdowns to secure the team’s 35-13 victory.
The first series of the game didn't fare well for Hilmar, as the ‘Jackets allowed Lathrop to score an opening drive touchdown when Michael Ramos broke loose for a 62-yard run to take the early 7-0 lead with 9:29 left in the first quarter.
This six-play drive was followed by a three and out by Hilmar, before they settled down on the defensive side.
Lathrop nearly scored again before the first quarter ended, but Hilmar’s Marcus Alvarez picked off quarterback Keonnee Linnell in the end zone after a seven-play drive with 3:55 left in the first.
Both sides punted multiple times after a defensive stalemate, until finally in the second, Tristan Crowley put the Yellowjackets on the board with a 24-yard sprint down the middle, weaving through the Spartans’ defense and tying it at 7-7.
With 2:32 remaining until halftime, Crowley connected with Bryan Milan for a 73-yard touchdown pass to take the 14-7 lead.
Lathrop scored with a Linnell one-yard run but the extra point was blocked by Hilmar, making it 14-13 by halftime.
Crowley then connected with Carter Azevedo for the team’s third touchdown on a 10-yard pass and closed out the game with a 12-yard connection in the fourth quarter to make the score a final 35-13. Crowley scored the fourth touchdown on a two-yard run with 23 seconds left in the third.
Altogether, Crowley was responsible for all five touchdowns.
Crowley tossed three scores and ran in two.
Hilmar is off to a 2-0 start for the second consecutive season.
Hilmar will next travel on to the road to take on Gustine at 7:30 p.m. Friday.