Momentum is rolling in the right direction for Pitman High as they head into next week’s Harvest Bowl, defeating the Atwater Falcons Friday night at Joe Debely Field, 28-6.
The Pride improves their record to 3-1 in the Central California Conference with a performance that Pitman Head Coach Tom Tyler was proud of.
“The team put on a good performance tonight,” he said. “We protected the ball pretty well for the most part and I was pleased with the way we played defensively. We had some kids who did a really good job tonight.”
Jacob Perez closed the opening drive of the game with an impressive play that led him to find Kamio Borja in the end zone after making a few good reads out of the pocket for a Pride touchdown.
“I was just trying to make something happen,” said Perez. “I went out to the left and couldn’t keep going because everyone was there, so I went back to my right and I saw two people so I tried to make a move and it bought me some time... My wide receiver, Kamio, was able to get open; I found him and just knew he’d make the play.”
Pitman’s defense forced Atwater (0-4, CCC) to punt on their first drive and followed up with another touchdown that marked the start of the second quarter. Tyress Pope worked hard to gain yardage and broke a few tackles throughout that drive to get the ball around five yards out for Titus Schammel to punch it in and put the Pride on top, 14-0.
Pitman controlled the game in the first half, but started off a little slow to open the third quarter until Austin Bird brought the momentum back recovering a live ball after an Atwater player mishandled the punt.
“Yeah, we definitely picked up the momentum off that fumble,” said Tyler. “It kind of got us back where we were supposed to be, one of the few breaks we got all night.”
Tyler said fullback Matt Parker did an excellent job as well as the offensive line playing well up front.
“Atwater’s strength is going up the middle and I thought we did a really good job against that,” he said.
Pitman converted their next two drives to touchdowns. The first was assisted by great blocking from the offensive line that brought Schammel in yet again and the latter by a fake handoff that snuck Pope to the outside and ran it in, sealing Pitman’s offensive work for the night with 28 points respectively.
“We played pretty good tonight, hit all of our assignments and adjusted to what the D-line was doing,” said Perez.
Atwater found the end zone late in the game as quarterback Frankie Cocio kept the ball and went over the right tackle to put the Falcons on the board and cap all scores, 28-6.
Pitman matches up against rival Turlock High next week in the much-anticipated Harvest Bowl.
“Turlock is a very good football team—they’re very physical, they play really good defense and have some outstanding football players,” said Tyler. “We’re going to have our work cut out for us, but we’re ready.”