In the game of football, it’s difficult to give every player time on the field.
On Friday night, Turlock High destroyed that theory.
By the second half, coach James Peterson inserted his second-string players and the first-team unit got an early mental advantage on next week’s opponent.
Of course, Turlock had to work to get to that point. It just didn’t take that long for the Bulldogs to gain command of Friday night’s homecoming game against Franklin High at Debely Stadium. Though they allowed a late meaningless score, the Bulldogs happily accepted the 42-7 victory in their final preseason game.
Next up: the mighty Buhach Colony High Thunder.
The win over Franklin “builds a lot of momentum,” said Turlock quarterback Sean Downs, who accounted for two touchdowns and had 110 total offense yards in two quarters of play. “We’re all expecting to score points and hold defense. This game was good for us, to get going and get ready for Buhach and league.”
That Buhach Colony meeting is next Friday night at Atwater High. Last season, the Thunder edged the Bulldogs 28-27 in the final seconds before wrapping up their season in the semifinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs.
Against Franklin, the Bulldogs had little trouble from the beginning. The Franklin quarterback misfired on his first four passes before completing for negative yards and throwing three consecutive passes (two to Da’Shawn Holcombe and one to Anthony Soza).
However, Turlock offered no mercy.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 35-0 halftime lead. By then, Turlock had 338 total offensive yards compared to Franklin’s minus-18.
Turlock scored just 4 minutes in, thanks to a 5-play, 78-yard drive that ended with Holcombe’s 13-yard touchdown run.
Downs had a 20-yard score and threw a 36-yard TD pass to Tyler Cook and Bryce Simmons marched in for two TDs. When the second unit came in, Anthony Peters found Wade Turner for a 28-yard score.
The only Turlock slipup happened with 4 minutes, 33 seconds left in the game, when Franklin quarter Rodolfo Espinoza found Faustino Molina on a 21-yard TD pass. Otherwise, this was the Bulldogs’ night — one in which the majority of the roster got field time.
“We expect 100-percent commitment and our guys got paid for their hard work tonight,” Peterson said. “The score is what it is, but we got to play all of our guys and that’s exciting. That doesn’t happen often. That’s the best thing to happen tonight.”
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