The Tracy High football team overcame Sierra High’s passing game, and the first-game jitters that come with playing in a new stadium in front of a full home-side grandstand.
The Bulldogs’ 32-21 win over visiting Sierra on Friday, Aug. 30, in the new Wayne Schneider Stadium, came after the Tracy team settled into its game in the second half.
“We knew we could move the ball if we could execute our plays and not make any mistakes,” Tracy senior quarterback Damon Stroup said. “The second half we did a better job at that.”
He added that the Bulldogs came into the game fired up, and even though the Timberwolves kept it close the Bulldogs stayed focused. Stroup completed six of nine passes for 106 yards, and the Bulldogs ran the ball for 269 yards, including 70 yards on six carries for junior Nate Jones and 56 yards on 14 carries for senior Chaz Briggs.
Sierra scored late in the first quarter, but Tracy's Jones scored the Bulldogs first touchdown right afterward on a 90-yard kickoff return.
“It felt good just because I was the first, but there’s more touchdowns to be scored,” Jones said. “We’ve just got to go out and do more as a team."
Tracy coach Matt Shrout said he knew Sierra would be a tough challenge to start the year, but he was also confident that the Bulldogs were ready.
“It makes it feel like all that hard work and all of those summer days was worthwhile. I feel good for the kids,” he said.
Sierra ran an effective offense. Timberwolves quarterback Jake Pruitt completed 25 of 38 passes for 183 yards, including a touchdown pass to Lucas Widmer, and running back Reid Maestas rushed for 114 yards on 14 carries and scored two of Sierra’s touchdowns.
Tracy senior defensive end George Obinna put the Bulldogs ahead early in the second quarter when he sacked Pruitt in the Sierra end zone for a safety. Jones gave Tracy a 15-7 lead at the start of the third with a 44-yard touchdown run. Sierra tied it up on the next series, and Tracy pulled ahead when Stroup connected with junior Robbie Ramirez for a 31-yard touchdown pass at the start of the fourth quarter, and hit Ramirez in the end zone on Tracy’s next possession for a 19-yard touchdown pass.
“I was just thinking, ball first, two hands, focus however I can,” Ramirez said. “(Stroup) made a good play and I tried to hold onto it.”
Sierra scored again, and Tracy made it a 32-21 game on Anthony Karjalainen’s 22-yard field goal. Karjaliainen also went three-for-four on point-after kicks.
Sierra’s sophomores beat Tracy 26-12, with Thomas Greely and Nate Turner running in Tracy’s touchdowns in the first quarter.
Sierra also won the freshman game on Thursday, Aug. 29, 27-7, with Skyler Oki running in Tracy’s only touchdown.
Beyer 57, West 19
The Wolf Pack lost its first game of the season at Beyer High inModestoon Friday, Aug. 30.
West coach Chris Myers said the Wolf Pack scored first when Kyle Hunt picked up a Beyer fumble in the first quarter and ran it back 15-yards for the score. Hunt also completed a touchdown pass to Austin Torma in the second quarter.
Beyer held a 30-12 lead at the half and West started to close in when Garrett Morris completed a touchdown pass to Ryan Herrera in the third, but Beyer came alive in the fourth quarter to secure the win.
West’s sophomores beat Beyer 20-6 on Friday, and the Wolf Pack freshmen lost to Beyer 21-0.