The Turlock High varsity football team took one step closer to playoffs last Friday with a 21-7 victory over Enochs High, and now looks to earn second place in the Central California Athletic League with a victory over Gregori High later this week.
The Bulldogs’ first- and second-string quarterbacks Cole Gilbert and Peter Mello were out on Friday after being exposed to COVID-19, meaning it was linebacker Ty Teixeira’s turn to step up under center.
“He actually did a really good job just managing the game and then making the plays that we needed,” Turlock head coach James Peterson said. “He really limited the mistakes, and that was the main thing.”
The Bulldogs relied heavily on their running game, with JT Foreman and David Salazar each rushing the ball into the end zone. Teixeira was also able to connect with Salazar on a touchdown pass. Salazar finished the night with 72 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns while Foreman had 129 yards on 25 carries with a touchdown.
Turlock had just four penalties on the night and controlled possession of the ball throughout the game, with nearly 31 minutes on offense compared to Enochs’ 17 minutes.
The win pushed the Bulldogs to 4-5 overall and 3-1 in league, giving them the fourth win they needed to qualify for playoffs. Turlock is currently the No. 10 seed in the Sac-Joaquin Section Playoff bracket, and on Friday they’ll look to earn second place in the CCAL against Gregori, who is also 3-1 in league.
“This is huge. We don't want to lose to Gregori,” Peterson said. “They're a good football program, so we’ve got to come in and play our best game.”
The Pitman Pride is taking on Downey High this Friday, who currently sits atop the CCAL. Should Pitman and Turlock both win, there would be a three-way tie for first place between Turlock, Gregori and Downey.
In Hilmar, the Yellowjackets are also well on their way to a playoff berth after defeating Modesto Christian 65-0 last week. The Hilmar offense combined for a total of 348 total rushing yards as a team, and Blake Westmoreland led the way with 74 rushing yards and an average of 24.7 yards per carry.
The Yellowjackets are currently predicted to be the No. 3 seed in the playoffs and will play in the Division V bracket.
Turlock will travel to Modesto this Friday to take on Gregori at 7 p.m. Hilmar is now 7-2 overall and 3-2 in Trans Valley League play; this week they’ll play away at Riverbank at 7 p.m.