It looked to be another rugged week for the Pitman High football team after back-to-back losses to tough competition, but the team triumphed on Friday night as they took it to Atwater at home en route to a 35-14 win.
“We moved the ball well early, but we seem to stutter a little bit because we do some good things but then we do some not so smart plays,” Pitman head coach Tom Tyler said. “I think we can play a lot better; we got kind of lucky in the first half.”
This Central California Conference matchup closed out with a 21-14 score going into the half. Mario Lewis surged for the first two touchdowns after breaking a one yard and 10 yard run.
Coming into the second half, Pitman’s offense struggled while the defense won out as they contained and dominated the trenches to close out the game.
“Atwater is a good team, but our team just really needed this win after losing two of the biggest games of the year and we really wanted it today,” said senior Chance Hagar, who tallied 118 receiving yards for the night. “We had the heart to finish it off today. We just had more intense practices this week and we studied in the film room a lot.”
Pitman fumbled the ball twice, however, only turned it over once and ran a total of five plays alone in the third quarter after Atwater’s defense kept them in check.
“Our defense was able to step it up and I am very proud of them. They are doing a helluva job, covering well and did everything well today,” Tyler said.
On their following possession, Wyatt Clapper connected with Hagar for a 68-yard grab to put the team up 28-14 midway through the fourth.
A critical forced fumble by Nick Roditis in the fourth quarter with less than six minutes proved to be the closing play for the Pride as they were able to contain the ball and tack on the final score when Logan Wolfley busted out for a 24-yard run.
“In the end we were able to do what we needed to do. It’s a good win but I feel we need to get better to beat those teams that are at a higher level, we just need to forget about this win and move on to next week,” Hagar said.
Pitman High will travel to face Merced at 7 p.m. next Friday.