The outcome at St. Mary’s High in Stockton on Friday, Nov. 9, ends Tracy’s season and moves St. Mary’s forward in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II bracket. St. Mary’s will host Del Oro High of Loomis next week in the second round.
Tracy senior guard and defensive end Nate Shelton said Friday’s game was a tough loss, and while the Rams got the win Shelton was proud of how his team finished its season.
“I can tell you that this team is a lot better than the scoreboard shows,” he said of the Bulldogs, adding that team unity was Tracy’s advantage all year. “That’s the tightest-knit family in the entire section.”
The Bulldogs (7-4, 4-1 San Joaquin Athletic Association) and the Rams (9-2, 5-0 Tri-City Athletic League) were just about equal Friday on offensive yards, Tracy with 332 total yards for the night and St. Mary’s with 348 yards.
The Rams scored first, with quarterback Kaleb Parrish finishing an 80-yard drive with a 1-yard push into the end zone. Tracy came right back as senior quarterback Luke Hanna, back in action after a shoulder injury three weeks ago, led an 80-yard first-quarter drive and scored on a 3-yard run to make it a 6-6 game.
The Rams’ Jalen Ratliff ran the ball back 93 yards for the score on the following kickoff. St. Mary’s scored in the second quarter on a 5-yard pass from Parrish to Ratliff. At the end of the half St. Mary’s covered 84 yards in 29 seconds, mostly on a 64-yard run for Parrish that got him in position to complete a 9-yard touchdown pass to Perrin Boyd to put the Rams up 27-6 at the half.
Hanna completed 19 of 33 passes for 250 yards, including seven passes to sophomore wide receiver Josh Clarke for 84 yards, two to sophomore Nate Jones for 48 yards, five to junior Anthony Nunez for 42 yards and two to junior Eric Hawkins for 39 yards.
“We were able to move the ball, but we didn’t finish when we should have in the red zone,” Hanna said.
The Bulldogs missed a field goal on their first possession and were turned back at the 7-yard line in the second quarter. Tracy’s best chance to score in the second half ended when the Rams’ Dominique Browner intercepted a Hanna pass and ran it back 85 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Tracy’s defense contained St. Mary’s at times, with two interceptions in the red zone ending St. Mary’s drives. Clarke snagged a pass in the second quarter, and Jason Nelson picked off a pass in the third.
The Rams collected 219 yard rushing, with Parrish totaling 86 yards on eight carries and Javon Wilson running for 54 yards on eight carries. Parrish completed nine of 15 passes for 129 yards.
“They were faster but we could still hold up with them,” junior linebacker Chris Mahar said. “It’s just that we’d blown our assignments and we didn’t do our responsibilities like we were supposed to in the beginning.”
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or email@example.com.