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Pride football snap three-year playoff losing streak
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Jacob Perez makes a run for it during Pitmans playoff game against Monterey Trail on Friday. The Pride won 35-21 and will travel to Stockton to play St. Marys next week. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

No. 7 Pitman football snapped their three-year losing streak in the postseason by topping No. 10 Monterey Trail in the opening round of the Division-I Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs on Friday in a 35-21 win.

“It feels great; couple years we've been losing but today was a great day for all of us, the coaches and players, just a great day,” said Pitman senior Devan Bass who finished with three total touchdowns.

“We were all ready to play and the fact that it could be our last game, we didn’t want it to end. We learned from our mistakes and came out and balled,” said Pitman quarterback Jacob Perez.

Pitman also avenges its 59-21 loss at the hands of Monterey Trail back on Nov. 20, 2009.

Since then, the Pride have not missed a single postseason appearance, having made the playoffs for the eighth consecutive year.

“I've been doing this for a while and you get some teams that want to keep playing and you get others who are good, but these guys want to keep playing and it's more fun when you keep playing,” said Pitman head coach Tom Tyler.

The Pride also amassed 10 wins in a season for the first time since 2011, when they went 10-2.

This feat couldn’t have happened without standouts like Bass and Perez. Along with arguably one of their most complete games of the year, Pitman came out ready to play after picking up their only loss of the year just a week ago against Turlock High at “Harvest Bowl XIII.”

They were quick to forget the loss and proved it by matching Monterey Trail from start to finish.

Perez tallied 15 carries for 143 yards and was 5 for 12 for 98 yards through the air with a TD pass and rushing score. 

“I just had the same mentality for every game, which is go hard every game and obviously it's playoffs, all teams get tougher and I just tried to give it 110 percent every play,” said Perez.

Pitman held MT from scoring on their opening drive and Perez ran in the first score of the game to put the Pride up 7-0 with 1:14 left in the opening quarter.

MT scored to tie it at 7-7, then just three plays later Bass broke free for a 60-yard scoring run to make it 14-7 with 7:47 left in the second.

The Mustangs of MT responded once more with a score to tie it at 14 apiece and both went into halftime with the game tied.

Pitman came into the third quarter with a mindset of determination after they marched down the field on an eight-play drive that essentially ended on a wild fake field goal touchdown pass from Perez to Bass for 22-yards to go up 21-14 with 8:13 remaining in the third.

Once MT scored again to even it at 21-21, Pitman went on to score their two unanswered touchdowns, first from Matt Parker from six-yards out and then Bass breaking free for 22 yards to seal the deal with 1:59 left in the game.

However, it wasn’t that easy. Before the two touchdowns, Bass recovered a fumble from MT quarterback Robert Holt and gave the Pride an opportunity to score on a seven-play drive.

Up a touchdown, Pitman knew they needed a stop or a miracle play. They got that.

On the ensuing kickoff, an MT player accidentally made contact with a ball that took a wild bounce and Pitman’s Mehki Anker recovered it, setting up the Pride for the fifth and final score.

 “Tonight I thought we did a great job of getting off the field on defense but that turnover near the end helped a lot,” said Tyler. “Offensively, the few times we sputtered we could have made plays and Devan Bass did a helluva job, those guys have some great athletes, great job, I knew it would be tough.”

Bass ran for 157 yards on the ground after carrying the ball 11 times and scoring three total touchdowns, two on runs and one on a grab. 

Pitman will travel to St. Mary’s of Stockton to take on the No. 2 team in the Division I bracket and the No. 8 ranked team in California at 7 p.m. Friday.