There were multiple missed tackles, turnovers, over 30 total penalties and various injuries to critical players in Friday’s league matchup between Turlock High and Downey. Despite the ugliness of the game, the Bulldogs came away victorious, 44-27.
“I think we came off that bye week a little rusty, but once we settled in and started playing our style of defense, I think things started to work a little better,” said Turlock head coach James Peterson.
The game started out rough for the Bulldogs. Star running back Anthony Frias sustained a pinched nerve in his neck and was taken out of the field on an ambulance and did not return. The timetable for his return is unknown at the moment.
“I think it is tough to prepare for your star running back to get injured and go out when he did,” said Peterson. “We have guys that can step up and play, but it’s really hard on morale when guys like that go down because it is a leader on the team and when he goes down early on, it takes kids a little bit to know we will be okay and the next man will step up.”
Turlock scored on their opening drive when Josiah Gonzales ran it in for the first of four, from 54-yards out with 9:23 in the first.
Diego Angel drilled a 27-yard field goal to make it 10-0 with just under three minutes left in the first.
Downey’s passing game and screens caused problems for Turlock--along with penalties.
Downey cut the lead to 10-6 with 1:15 left in the first then Turlock went up 17-6 after Brock Paslay found Holden Baldwin from 24-yards out.
Downey scored once more with 7:01 left in the second before Turlock took a 24-14 lead with a Gonzales rushing touchdown from six yards out before halftime.
By halftime, Turlock led 24-14.
They outscored Downey in the second half, 20-13. They also came away with 10 sacks for the game after they had seven against Central in their previous game.
Turlock held Downey to 143 yards of total offense in the first half while their offense tallied 239.
Downey cut the lead to 24-20 when Robert Rivera ran it in from a yard out to cut the lead to four.
Downey went up 27-24 when Lawrence Harris scored on a two-yard pass from Bryce Gouker.
Turlock scored three more touchdowns. First from Baldwin, from 42 yards out with 7:50 left in the fourth. The next one occurred when Gonzales found the end zone with 5:04 left and made it 36-27 before Linn scored the final touchdown.
Following the win, Turlock remains perfect in the Central California Athletic League.
Linn had the final touchdown for Turlock with 55 seconds left after he ran it in from four yards out to make it 44-27 following a good two-point conversion.
Josiah Gonzales finished the game with three rushing touchdowns. Turlock also had three turnovers for the game.
“The 24-hour rule is in effect, we are not going to overplay this win, we are going to enjoy it for 24 hours and then we are going to get on to it and get ready for our next game,” Peterson added.
Turlock’s (4-2) next game will be at home at Joe Debely Stadium against Modesto High, at 7 p.m. Friday.