Tracy High’s football team came out charging hard and then faced Lincoln’s second-half onslaught, holding on at the end to come through with a 41-39 win in Stockton on Friday, Oct. 25.
The win means that Tracy (7-1, 3-0 San Joaquin Athletic Association) has not only clinched a playoff spot, the Bulldogs are in position to claim the SJAA title and leave Lincoln (2-5, 2-1 SJAA) in second place.
Tracy coach Matt Shrout said the Bulldogs brought their best football to the first half.
“We blocked well, we ran well. We did all of the things we needed to do and we had them on their heels,” he said.
Junior Nate Jones scored on a 79-yard run in the third play of the game and went on to total 166 yards for the night on 12 carries as the Bulldogs totaled 284 yards on the ground. Tracy scored again in the first on senior quarterback Damon Stroup’s 40-yard pass to senior Eric Hawkins. Stroup passed for 106 yards, including four passes for 87 yards to Hawkins.
“Coming into the game we were really confident because we knew that our team was solid,” Hawkins said. “We knew Lincoln was good as well but we didn’t let that faze us.”
Jones scored again in the first on a 41-yard run in the first. Tracy scored twice in the second with Stroup again connecting with Hawkins on a 32-yard pass, and Jones scored on a 12-yard run.
Tracy was ahead 35-7 at the half and took a 41-7 lead after junior Josh Clarke scored on a fumble recovery early in the third quarter. Senior kicker Cameron Divoky was five-for-six on point-after kicks.
The Trojans then scored two touchdowns in the third and came within two points after scoring three more in the fourth.
The Bulldogs shut down a 2-point conversion attempt, and senior Chris Mahar jumped on Lincoln’s onside kick as Trojan players piled on top of him.
“He laid his body out and they came out and crushed him,” Shrout said. Mahar held onto the ball to deny Lincoln a final chance to score.
Kimball 35, Oakdale 14
Kimball High football coach Charles Spikes has been looking for that game where his players hold tough for all four quarters. On Friday, Oct. 25, the Jaguars gave him that game with a 35-14 upset win over visiting Oakdale.
Spikes said the Jaguars (4-4, 3-2 Valley Oak League) came in prepared, studied the best ways to counter Oakdale’s (4-4, 3-2 VOL) offense and executed its plays as planned.
“We knew what to do and we were making plays,” Spikes said. “We played assignment football at a high level, and once we had confidence we played fast.”
The Jaguars held up against an Oakdale defensive line that was quick to pressure quarterback Ben Juarez and Kimball’s running backs. Senior Gaige Allen, with 165 yards on 21 runs, scored all three of Kimball’s first-half touchdowns as the Jaguars took a 21-0 halftime lead. They included a 91-yard dash in the first quarter, and a 10-yard run and a 3-yard run in the second.
Junior Rashaad Cooper scored in the third on a 42-yard run that Spikes said exemplified the Jaguars’ determination.
“He was in a pile, but he kept his feet churning and was able to keep on working, held onto the ball, sped off and into the end zone,” Spikes said. Cooper totaled 85 yards on 13 runs.
Oakdale scored one in the third, and Kimball responded in the fourth quarter with a 33-yard touchdown pass from Juarez to senior Damon Jackson. Oakdale scored one more in the fourth. Kimball junior kicker Ryan Chaney went five-for-five on point-after kicks.
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or email@example.com.