Turlock High put in its best performance of the season Friday night during its homecoming matchup against Atwater High, dominating the Falcons 56-7.
The win keeps Turlock’s Central California Conference record unblemished at 3-0 and sets up what is sure to be a battle to decide this year’s CCC champion as the Bulldogs will host undefeated Merced High next week.
“Our guys were focused,” Turlock head coach James Peterson said. “It just finally all came together. We played great special teams, we played great defense and we played great offense. It was like clockwork.”
Turlock controlled the game from start to finish as its boys led 35-7 by halftime. Sophomore running back Danny Velasquez had his best night of the year as he scored three touchdowns in the first half—a 34-yard touchdown reception, a 10-yard touchdown run and a 36-yard touchdown reception.
“He’s up to speed man, he caught up,” Peterson said. “Now he’s got that confidence in himself that we’ve always had in him.”
The Bulldog defense also dominated its side of the ball as it forced and recovered multiple turnovers, including two interceptions from Jeffery Hines. Unfortunately for Turlock, Hines’ second interception led to a skirmish that resulted in three ejections—two from Turlock and one from Atwater—including one of Turlock’s top defenders Andy Jennings. With the ejection Jennings is not eligible to compete in next Friday’s clash with the Bears, arguable the biggest game of the season.
“We have to be ready defensively for the shuffle of players that has to happen,” Peterson said. “Just having Andy’s presence, I mean the guy’s a leader. He raises the level of play and the other players really look up to him. He’s a force to be reckoned with.”
Brandon Booz also had a big game as he scored a pair of touchdown in the second and fourth quarters from two yards out and six yards out, respectively. In addition to his touchdown passes to Velasquez, quarterback Bubba Moreno also tossed a touchdown pass to Jacob Mabie from 13 yards out while Andy Lopez and Zach Moore pitched in with touchdown runs of their own.
“We definitely made it tough for them to gain any momentum. It was just one of those nights where all the momentum went are way,” Peterson said.
The stage is now set for the only remaining teams with a perfect CCC record to collide in the penultimate game of the season.
“At the beginning of the year we decided that we had some goals, some team goals, so we wrote those on our weight room wall, and this is kind of what we strived for, to be in the driver’s seat to be a contender for a CCC championship,” Peterson said. “I think out of everybody in the CCC we match up best with Merced. I don’t think there’s another team that can challenge them like we will.”