SALIDA - Right before the game, a Hilmar High football player was overheard yelling four very powerful words to his teammates.
"Let's make a statement!"
This was Hilmar's chance to send a loud and clear message that the Yellowjackets are the baddest, toughest and most dominant team in the Trans Valley League. All they needed was two quarters into Friday night's meeting with Modesto Christian High on the Crusaders' home field to make the thousands of fans in attendance, especially on the home side, see the big picture. Game officials implemented the league rule that says a running clock will be enforced after a team is ahead by at least 35 points at halftime.
By then, the Yellowjackets were ahead 52-14. Though the game lasted well into Friday night, it appeared that Hilmar improved its league record to 3-0 and 6-1 overall, while silencing a Modesto Christian team that boasts Nathan Sudfeld, a senior quarterback who has committed to the University of Arizona.
The Crusaders entered Friday night with a 2-0 league record and owned a 4-2 overall mark after facing upper-division teams in the preseason, which is similar to the route the Yellowjackets took before the TVL schedule.
For complete coverage of Friday's Hilmar-Modesto Christian contest, read the Wednesday edition of the Journal.
The game was tied at 14-14 with 4 minutes, 22 seconds left in the first quarter before the Yellowjackets exploded for 38 unanswered points.
In the first half, Hilmar quarterback Andrew Olson completed 7 of 10 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns (a 32-yarder to Jonathan O'Brien and a 27-yarder to Zack Giuliano).
The running attack was also stellar, with Ryan White and Garrett Jericoff and Olson scoring one touchdown apiece and Giuliano adding two scores. Olson's TD run was especially sweet after he faked a hand-off and sprinted down the left sideline for 49 yards.
Kurtis Bettencourt, who knocked in all his seven of his extra-point kicks, wrapped up the first half with a 31-yard field goal. Kyle Silva also picked up one of Modesto Christian's fumbles around midfield and sprinted to the 1-yard line, where Giuliano marched it in to make it 42-14 with 5:31 left in the second quarter.
Sudfeld, MC's star player, completed the first half by connecting on 10 of 22 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns. He ended the first half misfiring on four consecutive passes from the Hilmar 18.
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail email@example.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.