Turlock (7-2) v. Pitman (2-7), 7 p.m.
Last week: Turlock defeated Gregori 25-13 and Pitman fell to Downey, 43-6
Preview: Harvest Bowl 16 is here and the buildup is always exciting. When both Turlock football teams square off, the experience is one that everyone should witness at least once. Both sides of Joe Debely —and then some — will be packed to the brim with fans. It is a significant game and bragging rights are always on the line. This year, both squads are coming off very tough pre-league schedules. Turlock is aiming at clinching back-to-back undefeated seasons in the CCAL, while Pitman has faced adversity all year long with first year head coach Lance Weckerle. The Pride are off to the program’s worst start ever. They have also notched the most losses in a single season and secured the program’s first losing season. The Pride has had to revamp the entire coaching staff while having absolutely no returning players from a year ago. This left a bigger hole in the program than expected, and the combination of that and an absolute gauntlet of a pre-league schedule didn’t help. Pitman has had to face Lincoln of Stockton (9-0), Marin Catholic (8-1), Bullard (7-2) and Clovis North (6-3). All four of them are ranked in the top 126 in California, while Pitman is currently No. 497. Turlock is currently ranked No. 136 in California and has won four straight games in league. They are 9-0 in the Central California Athletic League dating back to last year and there is no doubt they want to leave the record clean after this regular season finale. Pitman holds the all-time record at 8-7 Harvest Bowl wins, but this year could provide the tie as the Bulldogs have been gaining ground the last few years. In fact, the last time Pitman beat Turlock was on Nov. 8, 2013, when the Pride won 27-25. Since 2014, Turlock has won the last five games against Pitman. Last year was the first shutout between the two when the Bulldogs won, 33-0. After nine games played this year, the Pride have been outscored 317-102. That means the Pride have scored an average of 11.3 points per game while allowing 35.2. Turlock has managed to outscore opponents, 243-143. A win on Friday could also secure consecutive undefeated seasons in the CCAL.
Hilmar (8-1) @ Livingston, (6-3), 7 p.m.
Last week: Hilmar defeated Riverbank, 49-7
Preview: This year’s Hilmar Yellowjackets are one win away from besting last year’s regular season of 8-2. It will be tough to repeat last year’s accomplishments, however — CIF State (D-VI AA) and Sac-Joaquin Section (D-VI) titles. The Yellowjackets have won eight of their last nine contests, including three straight and they have done so as a unit. A playoff spot has already been clinched, but the seeding could take a different turn if the Yellowjackets were to somehow fall to Livingston this Friday. The intensity is always as high between these two teams, so definitely look for a very physical and hard-hitting game. Livingston is coming off a loss to Escalon, the only loss of the year for Hilmar. Escalon toppled Livingston, 55-24. Before that game, Livingston was 3-1 in the TVL, and possibly looking to clinch a playoff spot. This game could provide them with that, so it will be interesting how both teams approach the final game of the regular season prior to the start of playoffs.
Denair (7-2) @ Waterford (3-6), 7:15 p.m.
Last week: Denair defeated Mariposa, 14-13
Preview: Last week Denair pulled off a victory against a strong Mariposa squad. In that game, Denair was faced with adversity as they saw multiple star players go down for the game, and they had to dig deep over and over again. Multiple turnovers caused some problems, but with the help of Jorge Yanez and Elvis Silva, the Coyotes were able to overcome a possible loss in league that would have made everything more challenging. The Coyotes must now face a Waterford squad that is fresh off a 52-7 loss to Gustine. Waterford is also currently boasting a 1-5 Southern League record. They have dropped four straight games, allowing 50 or more points in each of those losses, which came at the hands of Le Grand, Mariposa, Orestimba and Gustine. Denair defeated all four them. Denair’s only loss came at the hands of Ripon Christian. Denair has outscored league opponents, 125-81, while also winning four straight in the process.
Hughson (4-5) @ Escalon (8-1), 7 p.m.
Last week: Hughson fell to Ripon, 38-14
Preview: The Hughson Huskies were on the verge of a huge upset last Friday when they faced Ripon High, but ultimately the second half led to their demise as they fell 38-14. Hughson’s 2-3 Trans Valley League record has them trailing only Livingston, a team they lost to. A win for Hughson could clinch a playoff spot, but the possibility of upsetting Escalon looks like a tall task, but not impossible. The progress the Huskies have made is apparent, and it will be interesting just how hungry and how much of a mistake free game they can put together. Escalon is fresh off a 55-24 romping over Livingston. Hughson fell to Livingston, 35-27. Despite their losing record in league, Hughson has outscored TVL foes, 154-124. Escalon has outscored opponents in the TVL, 207-102.
Bye week: None