Hilmar High’s football program continues to build its legacy after the Yellowjackets notched their eighth section banner – their second straight – following Friday’s 57-14 stomping over previously undefeated Ripon Christian in the Division-VI Sac-Joaquin Section Championship game from Joe Debely Stadium.
“Winning two back-to-back is really special. Winning one is hard enough to get, but winning against a quality team like Ripon Christian, it is very special,” said head coach Frank Marques. “Honestly, I am thinking about next week when I retire, I can look back at my trophy case but now I am worried about the next opponent we have next week.”
The win also clinched Marques’ fourth banner in eight section final appearance over his 16-year career.
Hilmar is now 11-2 while they give RC their only loss to go to 12-1.
In the last two D-VI section title games Hilmar has outscored its two opponents 99-27.
“First of all, I want to thank coach Mark Santos…because defense, that is the one word,” said Hilmar senior Nick Aguilera, who started at varsity since his sophomore year. “Coach Junker, coach Mason, coach Scotty and all the coaches, coach Marques… but our defense was dominant tonight.”
The defense was led by a standout force anchored by a strong defensive line play with pass rushing specialist Brennan Mason and standout backer and running back Justin Rentfro.
“It feels amazing. This is outstanding, I cannot believe it,” said Mason, who finished with a sack. “Honestly, going into this game I was scared because they are all 6-foot-4 and undefeated. But it wasn’t like that, I don’t think they played as hard as we did tonight; we played harder.”
Hilmar’s defense held RC to just 78 rushing yards and 207 passing yards.
Sophomore cornerback Cole Bailey finished the game with a pair of interceptions off RC quarterback Cade Alger.
Hilmar’s dual threat combination of Rentfro and Isaac Sharp were relentless after the two combined for 262 rushing yards while scoring seven touchdowns.
Rentfro rushed the ball eight times for 139 yards, while Sharp finished with 123 rushing yards on 11 carries and also had a 79-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Hilmar quarterback Treven Crowley was 8 of 11 for 151 yards.
In total, Hilmar finished the game with 494 yards, including 343 rushing.
The only time the game looked to be close was in the opening quarter that flew by in just 18 minutes of real time.
RC held on to the ball for half of the opening quarter, but Hilmar’s defense forced a turnover on downs.
Following four punts, Hilmar finally let the flood gates open when Sharp scored the first of four touchdowns from 34 yards out.
He scored on a 31-yard run on the ensuing drive then made it 28-0 just before the half after catching a 36-yard pass from Crowley.
Rentfro notched the third score of the game from nine yards out on the previous drive.
Leading 28-0 at the half, Hilmar kept the foot on the pedal as they went on to score 29 second half points while allowing a pair of scores from RC.
Rentfro scored the fifth touchdown of the game after bulldozing his way in from 22 yards out to make it 34-0 in the third.
Rentfro scored again on a 40-yard run following RC’s first touchdown and the score read 40-7 with 8:01 left in the third.
Bryan Millan drilled a 24-yard field goal just before RC scored their final touchdown on a 20-yard pass from Alger.
Sharp immediately returned the kick off for 79 yards to extend the lead to 50-14 with 1:54 left in the third.
Back-up quarterback Seth Miguel scored the final touchdown for Hilmar from 10 yards out.
Hilmar next advances to the CIF State Tournament with an opponent and time yet to be determined. Check at cifsjs.org for updates.
“We are going to really take this as a step to the next one. We will take our opponent real serious and we will give them everything we have,” Marques added. “Just real proud of our guys and the community, just a great crowd… all of it. It feels amazing, I did not expect this after we didn’t practice too much because of the bad air quality, but the kids responded.”