Typically, football teams take the first few weeks of the season to find themselves—to fine tune fundamentals, build team chemistry, and cement a foundation for success during league play.
Pitman High seems to have bypassed that process all together.
In their first three weeks of play, the Pride have racked up 174 points while allowing their opponents to score only 54—a product of a multi-faceted offense and an equally imposing defensive unit.
The latest witness/victim of Pitman’s on-field dominance was Modesto High, who entered Thursday night’s game with a potent offense of its own—having scored 110 points in the first two weeks— and expectations for a shootout. What the Panthers got was a pummeling and their first loss in a lopsided 63-12 final.
“It’s kind of an affirmation; we’re clicking pretty well. We’re throwing the ball well and protecting well,” Pitman head coach Tom Tyler said. “I was really happy with our defense, though. That offense was putting up numbers and we stopped them.”
The majority of Pitman’s offensive output took place in the first half.
The game’s tone was set on the very first play of scrimmage when Logan Wolfley weaved through the Panther defense for a 39 yard gain. Wolfley was in the end zone four plays later on a five yard run. Pitman fumbled the ball away on its second possession, but made up for the turnover by scoring six more touchdowns on its next six possessions.
Mario Lewis provided Pitman’s second touchdown of the night with a bruising 9 yard run which was followed by a 31 yard touchdown reception from Chance Hagar. Another Wolfley touchdown—this time from 50 yards out—and a one yard plunge into the end zone from Lewis put Pitman up 35-6 in the opening minutes of the second quarter.
“There are so many parts that contribute to the offense,” Wolfley said. “Mario gets that inside game going and that opens up the outside for those long runs.”
The Pride’s final two scores of the first half were completed through the air as quarterback Wyatt Clapper hit Justin Van Fleet for a 14 yard touchdown before tossing an 88 yard touchdown to Donovan Bravo. It was the last pass of the game.
“That’s very important in a quality offense. The more we can spread the ball around the less abuse guys take, and we’re harder to defend,” Tyler said. “If he (Clapper) continues his maturation process, we’re going to be in a position where we can really keep people honest.”
While Pitman’s offense rolled through the Panthers, the Pride’s defense was busy stifling Modesto QB Tiki Tonga with consistent pressure from the likes of Eric Bejaran, Nick Roditis, and Jorge Pena. Hagar also contributed on defense with two interceptions.
“Our thing was to really contain that quarterback the best we could,” Tyler said. “We’re going to go as far as our defense takes us.”
After entering halftime with a 49-6 lead, the Pride continued to dominate on both sides of the ball, even with backups on the field. Hagar scored his second touchdown of the night on a 31 yard run before a Michael Manzo one yard touchdown plunge capped the Pride’s scoring frenzy.
Wofley, Hagar, and Lewis each scored two touchdowns and finished the night with 142 yards, 101 yards, and 69 yards, respectively. Bravo notched 88 receiving yards and one touchdown while Clapper put in a 131 yard passing performance with two touchdown passes.
“We’re really excited about this year,” Wofley said. “Our team has such good chemistry; we’re one and we play like that. We’re looking forward to all the tests ahead of us, we’re going to see who we truly are.”
Pitman’s next test takes place at home against Oakland Tech High on Friday in the Pride’s homecoming game.
“We got to make sure we’re not complacent. We’re going to continue to do the little things right and continue to stay focused on each week and the next step,” Tyler said.