The Pitman High School varsity football team started its season on a high note Friday night, holding nothing back in their 55-7 rout of the Napa High School Grizzlies.
“It was good to just get out here and play a real one and get going,” head coach Tom Tyler said. “The kids have worked really, really hard and we did some good things tonight.”
After going 5-5 during the 2017 season, preparation was key for the Pride heading into 2018, Tyler said. The team began lifting weights right after their last game in November last year, and it showed on the field Friday night.
The Pride dazzled on both sides of the ball, with the defense holding the Grizzlies to just 250 yards in the game — as many as Pitman gathered in the first half — and the offense racking up seven touchdowns. Two of those scores came thanks to running back Payton Bass, who completed a 24-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter and connected with quarterback Treyton Fair for a four-yard touchdown in the second.
“We made those blocks and scored right up the holes,” Bass said. “I’m more proud of my team than I am of myself.”
Bass collected 91 yards in the first half, while Fair was able to connect with his receivers for 73 passing yards in the same two quarters.
“He had some time to throw and I think he did a good job,” Tyler said. “He’s going to manage the game a lot better this year. A second-year quarterback is a big deal.”
While the Pride ended up completing an impressive display in front of their home crowd, the game got off to a shaky start during their first possession. Pitman had three penalties before surrendering their first and only turnover of the game.
“It was just kind of sluggish and then everyone got into a rhythm. Sometimes that happens,” Tyler said. “These guys are serious, they put in a lot of time and effort and I think they’re really serious about being the best we can be.”
Pitman’s defense had two interceptions on the night — one by Chris Avalos in the second quarter and another from Joseph Vasquez in the first, who ran the ball into the end zone from Napa territory at midfield. Vazquez also completed a 48-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Pride players Marcus Garza, Jakob Partida and Jullien Lindo scored during the game as well.
The Grizzlies’ only score came at the end of the game with just over six minutes left when second-string quarterback Johnny Torres completed a 50-yard score from midfield.
Next week, the Pride will hit the road to face Lincoln High School. The Trojans handed Pitman a loss last year, but Tyler believes his squad is well-prepared for not only their next game, but a new string of competitive teams in the Central California Athletic League.
“It’s just going to get rougher every game,” Tyler said. “We hit different places on the field tonight and it was good…if we do that every week it’s going to make it tough on people.”