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Scrimmages kickoff football season
Scrimmage 1
Hilmars Justin Rentfro gets ready to run through a Los Banos defender during last Fridays home scrimmage. - photo by CANDY PADILLA/The Journal

The 2017 regular season is just a few days away from officially starting, but last Friday and Saturday kicked off the unofficial beginning after local schools scrimmaged against their respective opponents.

Turlock, Pitman, Turlock Christian, Delhi and Denair High went on the road while Hilmar was the only squad to host a scrimmage, taking on Los Banos, a well-respected program, on Friday night from the 'Jackets field.

“Los Banos is a great team to scrimmage since they are a physical team and we have a good relationship with them. I thought the scrimmage went well,” said Hilmar head coach Frank Marques. “We have a lot of competition, positions that are heavily contested, great thing as a coach to have.”

The 'Jackets ran a total of 30 plays on offense and 30 for the first team defense while the second-string players got 15 plays in and the third stringers ran 10 plays.

The Turlock Bulldogs scrimmaged with three schools at Inderkum of Sacramento this past Saturday morning, taking on Inderkum, Vacaville and Sacramento High.

“Three solid programs, good coaches, good people and talented, they bring some of the top talent from the area and last two years has been outstanding and that's why we go back,” said Turlock head coach James Peterson.

Turlock managed to control their tempo on offense running three 12-minute sessions against all three opponents.

“I like the way they set it up, you can go at your pace,” said Peterson. “We also got out healthy, physically matched well. Got to get in there and physically handled each other fine, even without big linemen like the last few years, but they rose to the occasion, thought we did well.”

The Pride of Pitman scrimmaged Gregori in Modesto in the morning at the same time that the Bulldogs scrimmaged while also on the road. Denair Coyotes went to Orestimba, taking on Mountain House, Livingston and the Warriors.

“We had 11 minutes on each side of the ball, it went okay, the usual scrimmage, some good and some bad,” said Denair head coach Anthony Armas.

Turlock Christian traveled on the road to take on Delta, ROP and Big Valley Christian this past Saturday at the home of BVC.

“We ran a total of 130 plays altogether and had a good scrimmage,” said TC head coach Ed Futch. “Our defense gave up just two scores, we scored a few, passing, and we used our skill.”

TC was in a round robin style of scrimmage with 15 minutes per side on offense and defense.

“We pretty much got our plays in with a high pace offense and will put teams on their heels,” said Futch. “We are small so we ran a lot, even our big guys so we can have the best chance to be our best in the 4th quarter. Our philosophy is if we can beat them with our small roster than we are doing our job.”

The Delhi Hawks traveled on the road to take on Stone Ridge Christian in a one-on-one situation this past Friday.

“We ran a total of about 25-30 plays but we need to clean up a little bit of the blocking and just minor scheme there, but intensity was great on both sides,” said Delhi coach Erik Martinez. “Yeah, I know Livingston came out with high intensity last year and we got a bit flat and second quarter we put it away but honestly offensively we have to get our running game going, we want to wear them down.”