Coming off a shutout victory over Tracy in their previous game, Turlock High kept the same momentum rolling into their Central California Conference opener on Friday night when Golden Valley came into Joe Debely stadium.
After Golden Valley’s Isaiah Montanez scored their only touchdown on the opening kickoff, Turlock buckled down and with the help of their fierce offensive line, the Bulldogs ran the ball all over GV’s defense, while Turlock’s defense kept the Cougars from reaching the end zone for the rest of the game.
Junior Danny Velasquez carried the load 13 times for 88 yards and caught four balls for 100 yards along with two touchdowns and the Bulldogs went on to win their league opener, 36-6.
“I always think I will come out and do well but tonight was a special night… it was a good night,” said Velasquez. “And being a first league game… we had to show what we are about right? It’s all I got to say and I am friends with many of these guys and we spoke during the week and we were all excited.”
“These backs are great but it’s that offensive line in front of them, pushing the pile. They are the best group of guys that a coach could ask for,” said Turlock head coach James Peterson. “They do sled work all week and it’s for these moments to put the game out of reach when they need to.”
It didn’t take long to take control of the game.
Once Golden Valley scored on the kick return, Turlock went on to completely shut down the Cougar offense to no points for the game, including only 86 yards of total offense in the first half alone.
Inside linebackers and brothers Chris and Dominic Silva were outstanding for the Bulldogs, clogging the holes when they needed to and consistently putting pressure on the quarterback, whether he was in or out of the pocket.
“Ever since my brother [Dom] has played beside me there has been zero points scored by the opposing offenses; we shutout Tracy and GV together and we play together real well,” said Chris Silva. “It works out perfectly. We are the same people and he is competing as a junior. It’s awesome.”
Both contributed to nearly every tackle and with the help of the defensive line and the powerful offensive line, the game seemed like a near perfectly executed game—with the exception of the team’s only turnover after Peyton Dunseth threw a pick in the first drive of the third quarter.
Turlock’s offense notched four touchdowns in the first half alone, including a safety.
“We dominated them. They had no chance. We came out hot and shut them out from the beginning and they were not going to come back on us… no way,” said Silva. “This team is gelling together and we are listening to the coaches. They are smart but we are playing aggressive like a bunch of wild hogs.”
They did, holding Golden Valley to only 229 total yards of offense for the game while amassing 373 of their own.
Dunseth scored Turlock’s first touchdown after breaking loose for a 42-yard run with 9:44 on the clock with Velasquez as the leading blocker down the sideline.
After scoring two points on a safety, Brandon Booz then slogged his way into the end zone with a six yard run before the first quarter ended.
By the start of the second quarter, Velasquez rushed up the middle for a one-yard run in the opening play of the second.
Velasquez would finish the first half with an 87 yard score through the air by breaking multiple tackles after catching the ball about 10 yards down the field.
With a 29-6 lead at the half, the Turlock defense held on for the remainder of the game and did not allow Golden Valley’s offense to score again as Turlock notched their third straight victory.
“I am proud of my team tonight. The defense in back to back shutout… its outstanding because everybody is doing their jobs and taking responsibilities into their hands,” said Peterson. “We are executing what we teach them and they are taking ownership… it’s all I could ask for.”
Next for Turlock will be a three game road stint that begins with a meeting at Buhach Colony against the Thunder at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
“We feel we can win CCC but each bump on the road we will see we can’t let down at all,” Silva added.