Turlock High football head coach James Peterson told his team to make a statement on Thursday night when the Bulldogs hosted Tracy High in the battle of the bone and the chance to earn bragging rights.
Turlock controlled the tempo for the majority of the game, earning a 43-14 statement victory.
“Keep the bone home, that was the goal tonight and we have another year of bragging rights — unless we see them in playoffs, which we very well could,” said Turlock head coach James Peterson. “I challenged these guys to come out and play hard and play our speed and they did a good job, for the most part. There are always things we can fix…but I am really proud of how they put the foot on the throttle and never looked back. They kept playing football and I’m really happy with how we finished.”
This game is also the most lopsided between the two teams since 2014. Prior to that it was in 2015, when Turlock won 27-0.
Before the start to Thursday’s game, Tracy led the all-time series since 2014 with a 4-3 record—playoffs included. In 2014 and in 2017, they teams played each other during the regular season and in the postseason.
With the win, the series is tied at 4-4.
“I felt like this is something we could do all along. We prepared, offensively and defensively, really well and I saw them on film. We studied them a lot and we felt we could dominate them,” said Turlock linebacker Jayden Jackson. “First half we played a little sloppy. We have a lot to fix, but right now with the performance we came out and did what we could and we did it.”
Tracy scored first with 8:51 left in the first quarter, but then were held scoreless until the final two minutes and 30 seconds of the game.
In between that, Turlock went on a scoring spree, putting up 43 points and setting up a running clock by the start of the fourth.
The first score for Turlock came with 8:10 on the clock in the first quarter after Anthony Frias ran in the first of three touchdowns from 79 yards out to make it 7-6 after a missed extra point.
Turlock also notched three interceptions for the game while the front seven consistently pressured Cal Poly SLO-bound quarterback Logan Fife.
Frias scored his second touchdown with 1:50 left in the first after he ran it in from nine yards out to make it 12-7 after a missed two-point attempt.
Turlock quarterback Brock Paslay found Holden Baldwin for a 32-yard touchdown pass for the third score of the game, which made it 19-7 with 8:42 left in the second.
Paslay ran it in from 17 yards out for the fourth score for the Bulldogs after he bulldozed through a defensive back in the final three yards, forcing his way in and extending the lead to 26-7 with 4:51 left till half.
Diego Angel drilled a 32-yard field goal with 2:22 left in the second to extend the lead to 29-7, which was the halftime score.
Once the third kicked off, Frias picked up where he left off after he scored the third touchdown of the night from 42 yards out and made it 36-7.
Miguel Peña ran it in from 48 yards out on the next possession and the Bulldogs held on to the 43-7 lead until the final 2:30, when Tracy scored their second and final time to end it 43-14.
Christian Cruz came away with two interceptions while Oscar Cruz finished with one pick for the game.
Frias, who was the Player of the Game, finished with multiple tackles for loss, a sack, nine carries for 138 yards and scored three rushing touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 93 yards.
“The first two games were pretty rough to be honest. We stayed focused and were ready. My line executed really well today, I have to give it up to my line, they opened up the big holes for me and I was able to run,” said Frias. “I was really happy with my performance today, but hopefully I just keep getting better, go watch film and see what I need to work on.”
Dalton Linn finished with 74 rushing yards and quarterback Paslay passed for 157 yards and scored a passing and rushing touchdown.
Turlock finished the game with 480 yards of total offense, while they held Tracy to 251 yards on offense. Tracy also had a 60, 43 and 66-yard drive, but were held to just one score in those drives.
“For me, it was exciting because we were so involved today with the front seven and we always rep our responsibilities and we knew this game would be won or lost in the trenches,” said Jackson. “We know they are really good with a Pac-12 receiver and a college bound quarterback, but we knew this would be a game in the trenches, and we wanted that, we dominated and it was good.”
Turlock’s offense had an 80, 58, 76, 78, 58, 58, and a 48-yard drive. Turlock scored on all seven of those possessions.
Next for Turlock will be a home game against Sheldon at 7:15 p.m. Friday.
“I think we need to keep getting better every week and keep focusing, and we have to show up ready for practice,” Jackson added.