Friday’s 27-14 loss to the Buhach Colony Thunder was a set back in league this year for the Pitman Pride football team in their hunt for a Central California Conference title.
“It's significant, but I really expected us to play better than we did tonight but you have to give Buhach credit they did a good job,” said Pitman head coach Tom Tyler. “They are real athletic and I think we had to play better to beat them. I thought we had it in us, but obviously we didn't.”
There are only three games remaining in league play, and the Pride now fall to 3-4 overall and 2-1 in the CCC.
Friday’s challenging loss has made the remainder of the schedule a must-win, if they wish to gain the CCC title or a share of it.
The Thunder came out and didn't waste any time, swinging momentum to their side after recovering the onside kickoff to start off the game with a bang.
“That onside kick to start things off but a damper on things and when they get the ball like that and they have to drive a short field,” said Tyler. “The thing is we could have gotten off the field a couple of times, with the long shots, it's just the way it is.”
A five-play drive ended with a Clay Abrams’ 17-yard toss to Lavon Wallace, and a two-point scamper from Abrams made the score 8-0 with 10:24 left in the first.
With 4:23 left in the first, the Pitman punt was fumbled by BC, which gave the Pride the ball at the Buhach 40-yard-line.
It took just one play for Pitman to get on the board when Treyton Fair connected with AJ Reyes to cut the lead to 8-7.
BC responded with a seven-play scoring drive that put the Thunder up 14-7 over the Pride with nine seconds remaining in the first.
The Thunder added their third score with an eight-play drive which made it 21-7 just as the half ended.
Pitman mishandled a few plays during the game, fumbling on numerous occasions and drawing fouls at crucial moments.
“What we have to do is fix us and that is what we have to do,” said Tyler. “We have to take care of our stuff and do everything better, tonight we didn’t actually play bad at times, but we just didn’t play as well as we can, and it is bothersome.”
The Pride jumped right back into the game with a seven-play scoring drive in the third quarter that concluded with a Keoni Souza 32-yard reception that cut the lead to 21-14 with 3:07 left in the third.
BC was quick to respond with a score of their own, marching down the field with a 12-play drive that chewed up nearly six minutes of the game and gave the Thunder a 27-14 lead.
Pitman only had the ball two more times for the remainder of the game as BC was able to fend off the Pride, picking off Fair for the third time in the game in the final 80 seconds of the game.
Next for Pitman will be a home contest against El Capitan at 7 p.m. Friday.