Last week, the Pitman High and Turlock High football teams produced a Harvest Bowl classic.
The game ended in the final seconds in the regular season finale. Pitman celebrated joyously after winning 16-13, while Turlock came together for a somber post-game meeting.
But now, it’s time to move on.
The No. 7 Pride (9-1 overall) will host No. 10 West High of Tracy (6-4 overall) at Debely Stadium on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs. The 7-3 Bulldogs, the 11th seed, will play at No. 6 Grant High in Sacramento on Friday at 7 p.m.
Pitman, the Central California Conference runner-up, is making the playoffs for the third consecutive year. The Pride are going up against a familiar postseason foe in West, which beat them in 2004 and ’05, in which current San Francisco 49ers backup Colin Kaepernick was the quarterback.
For the Bulldogs, they’re appearing in the playoffs for the second straight time after a six-year drought. They’re also looking to bounce back after last week’s Harvest Bowl, and they said they’re ready for the new challenge.
“If we can stop the big plays and control the football,” Turlock coach James Peterson said, “we have a shot to win Friday.”
Hilmar back in action
After ending the season in heartbreaking fashion, the Hilmar Yellowjackets (8-2 overall) return to their own football field as the No. 3-ranked team in the SJS Division IV playoffs will host No. 14 Linden (5-5 overall) on Friday night at 7 p.m.
The Yellowjackets had a week off after suffering a 10-0 loss to defending state champion Escalon High on Oct. 28.
Hilmar, the Trans-Valley League runner-up, is in the playoffs for the fourth straight year. The Yellowjackets’ last postseason win was in 2008, when they shocked Central Catholic 17-6 to win that year’s SJS Division V title.
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