The Tracy High football team was ready to celebrate its San Joaquin Athletic Association championship as soon as the Bulldogs hit the field at Bear Creek High in Stockton, Friday, Nov. 8.
The Bruins reminded the Bulldogs that league titles don’t come that easy. Tracy’s 38-0 win came after the Bulldog offense came out flat in the first half and then scored five second-half touchdowns.
Tracy (9-1, 5-0 SJAA) collected just 91 yards on offense in the first half, while Bear Creek (4-6, 3-2 SJAA) covered 51 yards in those same two quarters.
“I think we just got carried away and thought we had it in the bag when we didn’t,” Tracy senior quarterback Damon Stroup said. “We didn’t come out and play as hard as we should have. We came out in the second half and put in on them.”
Tracy didn’t make it past the 50-yard line until midway through the second quarter, when junior running back Jason Nelson broke away on a 40-yard run to set up a 39-yard field goal for senior kicker Cameron Divoky, giving Tracy a 3-0 lead at the half.
“I told them before the game that I had a bad feeling that their heads weren’t in it,” Tracy coach Matt Shrout said. “I think a light switch came on at half time and we went out and did what we wanted to do.”
Tracy changed the pace of the game midway through the third quarter when junior fullback Nate Jones broke through the middle on a 35-yard run to set up a 1-yard touchdown run for Stroup.
Junior Donovan Haro then jumped on the ball on the Bear Creek 19-yard line after the Bruins’ receiving team was unable to hold onto the kickoff. Two plays later Stroup was in the end zone again on a 15-yard run.
“I knew we were going to come back at that time, and pick the team intensity up,” Haro said. “We were playing smart too, everyone playing their assignments.”
Junior Jacob Alvarado’s 29-yard punt return at the end of the third, plus a Bruins penalty, set up an 11-yard touchdown run for Jones. Tracy scored at the start of the fourth on Stroup’s 20-yard pass to junior Joshua Clarke.
Jones made another touchdown run, this time for 48 yards, to finish the night as Tracy’s leading rusher with 140 yards on 14 carries. Stroup totaled 91 yards on 18 runs and completed three of seven passes, each of them the Clarke, for 29 yards.
Tracy’s defense held Bear Creek to 82 yards on the ground, and Bruins quarterback Zach Merseth competed three of 22 passes for 43 yards.
It’s the first league title for Tracy since 2009 and the first for Shrout, who is in his fourth year as head coach.
“It feels great. We had a goal and we attained that goal,” Shrout said. “Now we have to move on and see who we have to play (in playoffs) and just keep going.”
The sophomore game ended in a 28-28 tie. Thomas Greely and Nate Turner ran in touchdowns for Tracy (5-4-1, 2-2-1 SJAA) in the first quarter, Trent Cox scored on a 75-yard kickoff return in the third, and Conner Johnson ran in a touchdown in the fourth.
Tracy High’s freshmen (7-3, 3-1 SJAA) wrapped up their year with a 55-33 win against Tokay High in Lodi on Nov. 7. Coach Jay Fishburn named quarterback Cody Bolton and wings Skyler Oki and Darius Singleton as the team’s leaders that day.
Kimball 49, Lathrop 26
The Jaguars won their final game of the regular season at Lathrop High on Friday. It was a back-and-forth contest at first, with the Spartans (1-9, 1-6 Valley Oak League) holding a 20-14 lead midway through the second quarter. The Jaguars (5-5, 4-3 VOL) scored on a 1-yard touchdown run for senior Jarreiel Bolusan and a 40-yard run for senior Damon Jackson.
Kimball took control of the game with two more touchdowns in the second quarter, including a 15-yard run for senior Gaige Allen and junior Rashaad Cooper scored on a 5-yard pass from senior quarterback Ben Juarez.
Cooper scored again in the third on a 55-yard run, junior Noah Relova scored in the third on a 1-yard run, and Allen scored in the fourth on a 25-yard run.
Lathrop won the sophomore game 26-6 on Friday, ending the season with a 2-8 overall record, 2-5 in the VOL.
The Jaguar freshmen (3-7, 2-5 VOL) beat Lathrop 49-20 at home on Nov. 7. Ryan Rivera scored on 12-yard and 6-yard runs. Also scoring touchdowns were Ben Radetich on a 1-yard run, Jeshua Bogart on a 40-yard run, Casey Hearn on a 20-yard pass from Radetich, Amari Brown on an 85-yard kickoff return and Lionel Oherie on a 4-yard run. T.J. Dayak went 3-for-3 on point-after kicks. Tyler Doan also scored a point-after kick, and Radetich passed to Rivera for a 2-point conversion.
Stagg 56, West 0
Stagg High claimed the Tri-City Athletic League title with a 56-0 win at West High on Friday.
West coach Chris Myers said that the Stagg team (9-1, 5-0 Tri-City Athletic League) brought speed and outmaneuvered West’s pass coverage. He added that West (1-9, 0-5 TCAL) was also hurt by turnovers, but he was encouraged to see junior fullback Lautaime Alailefaleula charge up the middle for more than 120 yards rushing.
Myers added that while the Wolf Pack suited up only 27 players Friday, he expects that most will form the core of next year’s team, as will upcoming junior varsity players.
West’s sophomores (7-3, 3-2 TCAL) beat Stagg 42-0. Marcel Dancy, Christian Velasco, Justin Velasco and Matthew Roe scored for West, and Modesto Silvestre went 6-for-6 on point-after kicks.
Stagg won the freshman game 26-22 on Nov. 7 at West High. Emmanuel Turner scored three touchdowns for West (3-7, 1-4 TCAL), and Mike Maldanado scored two 2-point conversions.
Brookside Christian 42, Millennium 8
The Brookside Christian Knights (7-3, 5-0 Central California Athletic Alliance) shut down the Millennium Falcons (5-5, 2-3 CCAA) on Friday at Lincoln High in Stockton. Brookside was ahead 42-0 when Millennium got on the scoreboard with junior Kirk Truehill’s 3-yard touchdown run.
Truehill carried the ball 15 times for 75 of the Falcons 85 total rushing yards. Senior quarterback Mojo Atwal completed four passes for 15 yards and threw a 2-point conversion to junior Jake Adams.
• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or email@example.com.