Perhaps the only major problems the Pitman High football team experienced in Thursday night’s game against Gregori High were the warm weather and the fact that the Pride weren’t playing on a Friday night, a time of the week high school players are groomed for.
Besides those problems, the Pride were unstoppable, so unstoppable that officials green-lighted a running clock in the second quarter to keep the scoreboard at Downey High’s Chuck Hughes Stadium in Modesto from skyrocketing. Pitman scored the first 36 points en route a dominant 43-9 win over Modesto’s Gregori High, a program in its first varsity year with no seniors.
“Tonight was a good win, especially playing on a Thursday and it was hot out,” Pitman coach Brandon Harris said. “There were a lot of variables and we were able to get a win tonight.”
The Pride are 3-0 after three blowout wins (over Modesto High, Chavez High of Stockton and now, Gregori) and have their sights set on Oakland Tech, next Friday’s visiting team that Harris said has bigger, faster guys than Gregori’s, with some of them getting looks by college coaches. Oakland Tech, which finished 4-6 in 2010, is also favored to win its league.
“I’m always the guy who worries about every game,” Harris said. “I’m grateful where our kids are at, but we’re going to have to clean up a lot of little mistakes if we want to win against Oakland Tech.”
After easily handling Gregori, it seems like the Pride don’t have much to worry about. They owned a 36-0 halftime lead before adding another touchdown in the third quarter. Quarterback AJ Derr rushed for two touchdowns while throwing for a 14-yard score (to Andres Mendez) on 5-for-6 passing for 124 yards. Mendez also had a 48-yard rushing TD and Kody Brackett marched in for a 3-yard score.
One other highlight was provided by Tyler Arnsberg, who returned a punt for a 32-yard touchdown.
“We’re still making mistakes,” Harris stated, “but we’re young and I’m happy that we’re starting to get better every week.”
The last time the Pride were 3-0 to open the season was in 2004, when the program started varsity play under coach Larry Nigro. That Pitman team ended up losing only two regular season games before finishing 8-3 overall and making an appearance in the playoffs.
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