There’s only one undefeated football team left in the Central California Athletic League, and it’s Turlock High.
The Bulldogs dealt the Enochs High Eagles their first loss of the season Friday night as the two teams with 2-0 records met at Joe Debely Stadium. The impressive 44-6 victory was yet another dominant performance by Turlock this season, which has seen the team outscore their fellow CCAL competitors 174-43.
Turlock dazzled on both sides of the ball and on special teams, holding Enochs to just one touchdown through four quarters while giving spectators a show with their pass and run game. Their first score of the game came courtesy of a 28-yard field goal and they never looked back.
“Offense, defense, special teams, man, all phases of the game,” Turlock head coach James Peterson said, “everyone showed up and did their job tonight at home, and that’s what we want to do in front of our hometown.”
The Bulldogs continued their two-quarterback approach on Friday night, with sophomore QB Cole Gilbert completing 9 of 13 passes for 147 yards with two touchdowns on the night — a 21-yard dart to wide receiver Logan Hart, and a four-yard TD run of his own.
Senior QB Dason Evans was 3-7 on the night with 30 passing yards and a 16-yard TD pass to Cade Gilbert. Evans also had 44 rushing yards, but his final 22-yard run in the third resulted in a leg injury and he exited the game. The injury resulted in QB Beau Green making his debut near the end of the game for the Bulldogs after a shoulder injury had kept him sidelined, but the junior was held to just a couple of throws.
“Beau’s been working in and Cole Gilbert’s been doing a great job. I feel bad about Dason because he’s a leader and it’s hard to lose guys like that,” Peterson said.
Senior running back Josiah Gonzales led the run game for the Bulldogs, collecting 236 all-purpose yards during the game and a monster 84-yard TD on Turlock’s first play of the second half. Gonzales almost had a second TD on the team’s next possession, but ran 34 yards and fumbled into the end zone. Luckily for the Bulldogs, Valentino Cisneros was there to grab the ball and record the TD.
Gonzales is looking to walk on at an Ivy League school next year and said he’s learned to play “cocky” to get where he wants to be.
“I’ve got to know I’m good and know what I’m fighting for. I know I want to play in college, so I’m just trying to put that film together and put it down everyone’s throats the best I can,” Gonzales said. “I trust my linemen a lot; we’re great friends and I know they’re going to be there and I’m going to run behind them and get some yards.”
The final minutes of the game saw fullback Preston Roberts get into the action and record a 53-yard touchdown to seal the Bulldogs’ third victory of the season. On defense, Brock Muirbrook and Cade Gilbert both had interceptions while Ashton Baucom and Cole Hendrix each had a sack.
Peterson said his team continues to produce week after week thanks to their dedication during the offseason, which was seemingly never-ending due to COVID.
“I think they’re playing like they’ve got a chip on their shoulder because so many of our leaders and seniors really pushed each other to get better no matter what happened with COVID,” he said. “They always pushed each other to work on their own, go out and throw the ball around together and be with the guys. I think that’s what’s showing — they’re playing like what could have been.”
Next Friday, the Bulldogs will play at home at 7 p.m. against Gregori High (1-2). Gonzales expects the Bulldogs’ hot streak to continue.
“It’s just a great dynamic,” he said. “Everyone wants to win and fights for it.”