Turlock High School put up a valiant effort against Sheldon High School, but ultimately came up short 36-22 to get knocked out in the first round of the playoffs. Starting quarterback Cole Gilbert was out due to injury and Turlock started sophomore Vincent “Deuce” Gonzales who was the starting quarterback for junior varsity.
“With us being down our quarterback we had to be one dimensional on offense. It made it really tough to run the ball, but we had a few good set passes. He (Gonzales) did a really good job and made a couple passes for us. We took a look at him in the playoffs and everyone liked him,” said head coach James Peterson.
The Bulldogs got off to a hot start with a rushing touchdown on their first possession of the game. Ty Teixeira converted the 2 point conversion on a two-yard rush to take an eight point lead with ten minutes to go in the first.
Wide receiver Logan Hart hauled in a long pass from Gonzales to set the Bulldogs up inside the Huskies territory. Turlock wasn’t able to take advantage, because Sheldon forced a fumble the very next play and ran it 62-yards into the endzone with three minutes left in the first.
The Huskies were able to score another touchdown with less than a minute left in the quarter to take the 14-8 lead. Both teams got consecutive stops to start off the second quarter, and Sheldon broke through with a seven yard touchdown pass with three minutes left in the half.
The Bulldogs refused to be shut out in the quarter though, and scored a touchdown on a two yard run with just a few seconds left to go into halftime with a 15-21 deficit.
It was another defense battle in the third quarter with the first score coming with two minutes left. Running Back J.T. Foreman caught a 34-yard pass from Gonzales to give the Bulldogs the 22-21 lead going into the fourth.
The Huskies opened the final quarter with a long drive that took nearly half the quarter and capped it off with a touchdown pass to take the 29-22 lead after successfully converting the two point conversion.
The Bulldogs were driving and it looked like they were going to take the lead back, but Sheldon intercepted the ball on Turlock’s two yard line to stop the go ahead score. They scored a rushing touchdown in under a minute to take the 36-22 lead with five minutes left.
The Bulldogs had the ball two more times but were stopped on fourth down both times and suffered the 22-36 loss to end their season. Turlock ended the season with a 4-7 record overall with a 3-2 record in league play.
“There seems like there’s been distractions for our team every week that our team had to overcome. This team is tough, the toughest I’ve ever coached. You didn’t know week to week who you’re going to have due to quarantine or injuries and this team never quit,” said Peterson
Turlock was playing with a heavy heart, because a fellow Bulldog was a victim of a stabbing earlier in the day and had to be transported to a hospital.
“Our team was able to overcome everything that happened on campus today. Our hearts go out to the families that were affected. We talked about it a little bit and said we’re going to try to play today,” said Peterson