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Prep football weekly preview
Bulldogs wont just settle for opening season win
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Friday Night FootballNonconference

Oakdale (1-0) at Turlock (1-0), 7:30 p.m.

Pitman (0-1) at Antioch (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

Turlock Christian (0-0) vs. Big Valley Christian (1-0) at Livingston High, 7:30 p.m.

Hilmar (1-0) at Ceres (1-0), 7:30 p.m.

Denair (0-0) at Riverbank (0-1), 7:30 p.m.

For awhile, there was ringing in the ears of the Turlock High football players and coaches. It came right after the Bulldogs stunned everyone — perhaps themselves, too — by convincingly beating Downey High 33-20 in Modesto on Aug. 27.

The Bulldogs cheered well after the game.


Because it was the team’s first win in two years and after suffering through a 0-10 season in 2009. The Bulldogs hope to produce more cheers Friday night, when they play for the first time on the newly renovated Debely Stadium against Oakdale High.

Last season, Oakdale handed Turlock a 56-6 loss.

But this time, it’s a different Bulldogs team.

Turlock has talented players, but the two that come to mind are quarterback Kevin Kramer and Ricky Fuentes, who returns after being sidelined last season with an ankle injury. Kramer had a 48-yard touchdown pass to Fuentes (170 rushing yards), though Kramer did most of his damage on the ground and rushed for 149 yards.

Brandon Esquivel didn’t do so badly either, as the sophomore finished with 105 yards.

This time, the Bulldogs will go up against a proven team in Oakdale, which went 11-2 last season before losing in the semifinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs.

But Turlock coach James Peterson said he believes his team has a chance, especially if the Bulldogs can stop the run. He’s glad his players are healthy, compared to last season and the number of players who had injuries.

Turlock is also not happy with just one win.

 Pitman, Hilmar hit the road 

After producing opposite results, both Pitman High and Hilmar High will travel away from home to play in the second week of the season.

Hilmar is coming off a historic win last week, beating Beyer High — the Yellowjackets’ first-ever Division I opponent during the modern era — in a 17-14 stunner at Downey High.

It also showcased an outstanding performance from Hilmar’s Daniel Greenleaf, who had three interceptions, caused a fumble, earned a sack and made three big catches. The Yellowjackets had a solid night from quarterback Andrew Olson, who had the game-winning TD early in the fourth.

They now continue their tough nonconference schedule at Ceres High on Friday night.

Hilmar coach Frank Marques said the Beyer win was nice, but he also indicated that his team has room to improve.

“The only statement we made is that we have a lot of work to do,” he said.

Pitman will look to bounce back after falling 48-36 to Modesto High. The Pride will do that on the road, as they will travel to Antioch High in the East Bay to face a team that is a on a three-game losing streak going back to last season.


Denair, TC get their turn


After waiting a week longer than the other teams in the Section, the Denair and Turlock Christian football teams will begin their respective seasons this Friday. Denair plays at Riverbank High, while the TC Eagles will host Big Valley Christian High at Livingston High.

The Coyotes will introduce a new quarterback in Jim Atkinson, a junior who replaces Codee Watts after Watts and his family moved to Los Angeles days before school started. The Eagles will do the same, as they will start sophomore Chase Gonzales as the single-caller.

To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.