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Pitman falters against Golden Valley
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Pitman's Matthew Burciaga gains yards for the Pride during the game against Golden Valley Friday evening (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

There was virtually nothing positive on which Pitman High’s football team could focus following their 54-15 non-conference loss to Golden Valley (Merced) on Friday night at Joe Debely Stadium.

Just about everything that could go wrong, did.

And that is what head coach Eric Reza wants his team to remember.

“I want them to learn that no matter the outcome, you’ve got to keep going,” said Reza. “That’s just life.”

The good news for Reza is that his team kept going.

Despite being down 48-7 in the fourth quarter, despite the running-clock, the Pride kept attempting to drive the ball down the field as if the next score would put them back in the game.

After a bye week, the Pride (1-3) travel to take on Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills), then open Central California Athletic League play the following week against Turlock in the annual Harvest Bowl.

“We’ve got some heavy, heavy competition coming up,” said Reza. “We’ve got to get better in a hurry.”

The Pride’s first TD came with 3:26 to play in the third quarter when Joey Stout capped a seven-play, 74-yard drive with his 6-yard burst into the end zone. Jonnathan Delgado’s PAT made the deficit 41-7.

Stout carried the ball 16 times for 106 hard-earned yards.

The Pride added another when Dylan Freeman hauled in a pass from Drew Walker from 16 yards out that, with the two-point conversion, made it 54-15.

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The Pride's Drew Walker hands the ball off to Joey Stout during the game against Golden Valley Friday evening (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

Golden Valley (3-0) had three second-half TDs — Jahkylle Smith (19 carries, 133 yards) had touchdown runs of 1 and 24 yards and Jaden Alvarez returned an interception 90 yards for a score in the game’s final minute.

The Pride fell behind 34-0 in the first half.

Golden Valley’s opening drive of the contest resulted in a punt, but it was a beauty. Jonathan Gomez-Roldan pinned Pitman on its own 1. After three cautious plays, the Pride kicked the ball out of their own end zone and into the hands of Jonah White, who fielded the ball at the 30 and scampered untouched to make it 6-0. Gomez-Roldan’s PAT made it 7-0 with 7:48 remaining in the opening stanza.

On Pitman’s ensuing possession, which started at the 35, GV defensive back Eleazar Garza intercepted Walker’s attempt at the 40 and returned it 27 yards to the 13. Garza, who also plays quarterback for the Cougars, scampered in on the first play of the drive to make it 13-0. The PAT was no good.

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Jose Zamora works to gain yards for Pitman Friday evening during their game against Golden Valley (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

Pitman’s defense stiffened and forced Golden Valley to punt on its next possession, but Walker was picked off again, this time by White, who raced 58 yards for the score, making it 20-0 after Gomez-Roldan’s PAT.

Garza made it 27-0 when he raced in from 40 yards out on fourth-and-3 with 2:52 to play in the first half.

After forcing a Pitman punt, and getting the ball back with 55.7 seconds, GV needed just 33 second to score when Garza hit Ethain Vang from 25 yards out and then capped the drive with an 18-yard flip to Delbert Davis, making it 34-0.

“That’s a really good team over there,” said Reza. “(Garza) and (Smith) are special and they’ve got some really big guys. They’re going to make some noise in their league.”