Pitman football captured the program's 50th Central California Conference victory on Friday from Veterans Stadium after a 35-21 win over Golden Valley in the penultimate regular season contest.
“You know I am not worried about legacy or any of that, I am worried about these kids and the job they are doing, really all that stuff is for other people to talk about,” said Pitman head coach Tom Tyler. “We are just taking care of each other, doing the best we can.”
They did more than the best they could after taking on a very tough GV Cougars team led by quarterback Armando Muzquiz and running back Isaiah Montanez, who bested the Pride until the final minutes.
The win also gives the Pride their first 9-0 start in the program's 13-year existence.
“We don't really care about the record,” said Pitman captain Chris Martinez. “If you talk to anybody on our team, we don't really care for the record, we are just worried about the next game. The next game is the only thing we care about, we forget about what happened before and just worry about now.”
The Pitman offense was contained on a handful of drives, but with the help of the offensive line and a physical game plan, the Pride drove it right down GV with their powerful and relentless run game with the help of Brandon Pacheco, Matt Parker, AJ Encalade and Devan Bass.
Pitman forced GV to punt on the opening drive and followed with a score from Bass after rushing it in for 10-yards.
Jacob Perez connected with Kamio Borja on a 27-yard strike and into the end zone to give the Pride a 14-0 lead with 11:51 left in the second quarter.
Bass scored once again just two drives later on a 35-yard burst to give the Pride a 21-7 lead heading into halftime.
Bass finished the game with 158 rushing yards on 15 carries and added two scores. As a team, Pitman tallied 229 yards on offense in the first half alone while holding GV to just 135.
GV came out into the second half with a different mindset as they scored in their first two possessions to tie the game at 21-21 with 11:55 remaining in the game.
Pitman rallied and marched down the field for a 13-play drive that ended with a Pacheco four-yard run that gave the Pride the 28-21 lead with 6:02 left on the clock.
With the Pride needing a hold against GV, Brendan Patterson decided to take matters into his own hands.
On a second down, safety Patterson jumped the route and picked of Muzquiz, returning the ball for 35-yards and into the end zone as the crowd erupted for the Pride and the team sealed it with a 35-21 lead and under five minutes remaining.
“I wasn't really nervous, I just knew I needed to make a play or we had to get the stop and that was the drive to do it, then they couldn't do much after,” said Patterson. “But they are a great team. We just had to stop them near the end.”
The Pride finished with 366 yards on offense. GV added 285 after accounting for 150 in the second half.
Next week's final regular season game with Turlock, the “Harvest Bowl,” will decide the CCC champion. The game will take place at Joe Debely at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
“Our kids really rallied and we could've laid down near the end, but our kids came out and played real hard, I am really proud of them,” Tyler added. “Next week, get ready for that one, it doesn't matter who it is...”