Thursday night wasn’t the best performance from the No.2 Hilmar varsity football team.
It came at the worst time, in the first round of the Division-V Sac-Joaquin Section tournament after hosting No. 7 Colfax in what resulted in the team’s second loss of the year in a 42-21 upset.
“They are a really good football team. There are nights when things don’t go your way and we made crucial mistakes. They just had a real good offense and defense played tough,” said Hilmar head coach Frank Marques.
For just the second time this season, Hilmar lost, snapping their six-game win streak and it wasn’t pretty. It was also the team’s second largest margin of defeat over the last two seasons in 24 games played.
“You have to give them credit, sometimes you run into a bus and that is a really good football team we lost to tonight,” said Marques. “There are really no excuses; they were just the better football team tonight.”
Hilmar turned the ball over twice and allowed five sacks for the game.
“They dropped down a division to play and they are a good football team,” said Marques of their physicality.
Colfax came in with a fury and put together a 12-play drive to start the game off and forced Hilmar on a three-and-out. Colfax followed with a scoring drive in their second possession and went up with 5:32 left in the first.
Tristan Crowley connected with Klay Farris on a 47-yard touchdown pass to tie it at 7-7 just a minute later, but Colfax responded with a score of their own to go up 14-7 just four plays later.
It looked as though the game would go back and forth after Cody Rentfro tied it at 14-14 with 1:39 left in the first, but Hilmar plateaued afterwards.
Colfax scored two touchdowns before the first half ended but it came with the help of a crucial penalty that seemed to cause a major momentum shift.
On a fourth and 12, and inside their 18-yard-line, Hilmar was called on a penalty for having 12 players on the field on a punt from Colfax. The penalty was accepted and with a 14-14 game, Colfax went down the field and just six plays later, scored the first of four unanswered touchdowns to go up for good.
Colfax had 344 total yards of offense in the first half alone while holding Hilmar to 201.
Down 28-14 at the half, Hilmar came out in the third ready, or so they thought, but on the second play Crowley was picked off and just three plays later Colfax went up 35-14 with a touchdown run from one yard out.
“They just played real good; they were quick and powerful and they play in a real good league and are a good team,” said Marques.
On the ensuing drive for Hilmar, and on the 10th play, Crowley tossed another pick, only this one was returned for a touchdown to seal it 42-14 with just over six minutes left in the third.
“It’s like one of those things, if the ball had gotten out just a bit sooner, it would be a different story but one of those things, should’ve, could’ve but just have to give credit to the team that won tonight,” Marques said of the turnovers. “Tip your hat to them.”
Rentfro would score from 45 yards out for Hilmar with 10:39 left in the game but that was it as the Yellowjackets ended the game stunned.
“I always said they are blue collar, the guys who go out and do work, not flashy or anything, and play hard, special group of kids you only get every once in a while, they worked hard and couldn’t be prouder of the kids and what they did,” Marques said.
Hilmar ends the year at 9-2, having won at least nine games a season over the last two years.