The Tracy High football team’s defense was all but impenetrable to the visiting Edison Vikings in the Bulldogs’ 56-14 playoff win Friday, Nov. 15, at Wayne Schneider Stadium.
Tracy (10-1) dominated the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs by allowing the Vikings (7-4) just six rushing yards for the night after holding Edison to negative yardage on the ground in the first half.
Tracy junior linebacker Brandon Russell made two sacks early in the first quarter to help set the Bulldogs up for their first score.
“Our defense came out hot,” Russell said. “They didn’t really know how to run the ball on us.”
Russell helped drive the Vikings back to their own 7-yard line, and after the punt the Bulldogs had to cover only 35 yards in five plays for senior quarterback Damon Stroup to punch the ball in from the 1-yard line.
The momentum belonged to Tracy for the rest of the game. The Bulldogs scored on every following possession in the first half for a 28-7 halftime lead.
The Vikings had speed, scoring on an 80-yard touchdown pass from Malik McKenzie to Richard Newall in the first quarter, but it was one of the few chances that Edison was able to get past the Bulldog defensive line, which sacked McKenzie for losses five times.
“With the pressure that we had they couldn’t do anything. Up the middle, our line is solid,” senior defensive end Michael Frymyer said. “Everybody came out and did their own job.”
Senior defensive end George Obinna said the Bulldogs know the competition gets tougher from here.
“We just increased our level of effort in everything,” Obinna said. “We came together and decided that this was going to be the week where we put everything together, this week and continuing on. This is just the beginning.”
The Bulldog offense covered 332 yards rushing, with 107 yards on 16 carries for junior running back Nate Jones, who ran in four touchdowns. Jason Nelson also scored on a 21-yard run and 34 total yards on four runs. Stroup ran for 104 yards on 14 carries and completed five of seven passes for 128 yards. Kicker Cameron Divoky made all eight point-after kicks.
Edison scored its second touchdown in the third quarter on Richard Newell’s 91-yard kickoff return.
Tracy scored again on junior quarterback Michael Brown’s 19-yard run at the end of the third quarter, and junior running back Robbie Ramirez scored on an 11-yard run in the fourth.
Tracy coach Matt Shrout said his team’s dominance is a result of how players prepared.
“We just felt confident in what we were going to do, and they did what we thought they were going to do,” Shrout said. “We were ready for them.”
Tracy now prepares to host Jesuit High of Carmichael on Nov. 22. Jesuit beat Merced High 49-39 in Merced in Friday’s first round.
Senior center and nose guard Clayton Fegett said the Bulldogs stepped up its practice regimen to get ready for Edison and will pick up the intensity for the second round of playoffs.
“I felt like we prepared for a harder team, but they gave us what they’ve got and we were able to come away with a win,” he said.
“We’ll be working harder than we did this week, and this week was one of our best weeks of practice. We have to work harder.”
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.