The Turlock High varsity football team is looking like they will be serious contenders this year.
The Bulldogs are 1-0 after the team’s 43-7 victory over Enochs High at home on Friday night in their season opener.
“The kids played tough and rose to the occasion and answered all the questions and our conditioning was a lot better than it was last week so that was a plus,” said Turlock head coach James Peterson. “Enochs is a good team, we just played better than them tonight but great sportsmanship overall.”
Turlock’s defense made a statement in the opening drive after detaining Enochs to 16 yards in seven plays, including two offensive penalties and constantly pressuring Enochs’ quarterback Travis Graham.
Leading the herd on defense was the front seven including standout Mustafa Johnson who boasted over seven tackles, one for loss, a sack and multiple quarterback hurries, all in the first half.
“I loved it. It was great being able to go out there and hit somebody and get back into it,” said Johnson. “First game is always the best time to get back into what we do. We had a new coach on defense last year and now we know the defense a bit better and are more of a family when we go out there and hit.”
On the offensive side, the Bulldogs had no trouble, despite numerous penalties. They got on the clock early with three consecutive scoring drives from 60-plus yards.
Danny Velasquez busted the game wide open in the first drive of the game after a seven-play drive ended with a three-yard touchdown run up the middle.
Velasquez tallied 84 yards on the ground on seven carries behind an offense that accumulated 370 total yards.
Brandon Booz scored the second touchdown of the game with 2:26 left in the first quarter after a 20-yard run and with 7:42 remaining in the second, Dustin Grein went up the gut for a six-yard score.
“This year we are playing more like a team. Last year we didn’t really play as one and struggled out there with team chemistry and I trust these guys and played as hard as I could for them,” said Booz who ended the game with 83 yards on 10 carries.
With a 21-0 lead at the half, starting quarterback Peyton Dunseth was not done as he scored back-to-back touchdowns after a 19 followed by a six yard run to take a 36-0 lead.
“Seeing how our defense was performing and how physical they were, it really impacted us on offense. So to see how good they were it juiced me up a little bit,” Dunseth said after finishing the game with 87 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
The constant pressure of the defense kept the Eagles out of rhythm, holding them to only 143 yards on offense and amassing over five sacks for the game.
“Being a family and being aggressive helped us be as successful as we were,” said Johnson. “We just came out and hit them. Out hit them and were more aggressive than them.”
Juan ‘Mango’ Lopez finished the game with two sacks.
“Our staff and team has the same mindset that no matter what, we will never get ahead of ourselves,” said Peterson. “We will approach one game at a time. With this game we need to clean up because there was an awful amount of penalties tonight, so we need to get a lot better and clean it up.”
Turlock’s next game will be away against Oakdale at 7 p.m. Friday.