Tracy High’s playoff run ended Friday, Nov. 22, after visiting Jesuit High of Carmichael took the initiative in the second half for the Marauders’ 49-28 win at Wayne Schneider Stadium.
It was a bittersweet ending for the Bulldogs, whose season came to a close short of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I semifinals and a chance to play defending section champion Folsom, which beat Franklin of Elk Grove 49-16 on Friday.
“I feel like I left everything on the field,” senior tackle Alex Warner said, adding that the bond among players grew stronger with every game.
“I’m just sad that I don’t get to play with my family. That's my family right there.”
Junior linebacker Brandon Russell said it took a couple games early in the season for the team to find its rhythm. The Bulldogs then won nine games in a row and won the San Joaquin Athletic Association title.
“I remember the first game (in the new stadium) was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had,” Russell said.
“All the way to tonight we handled our business and got better every week,” he added. “Honestly I wouldn’t take any other team.”
Friday's game was close through the first half. Tracy coach Matt Shrout said that Jesuit used its offensive options to keep the Bulldogs off-balance in the second half.
“It was a few little things,” Shrout said. “We got mixed up in our coverage at the half and gave them 14 points right there. We just didn’t tackle very well. The things that we wanted to do that we did all week long (in practice), we just didn’t do tonight.”
The Bulldogs (10-2, 5-0 SJAA) got some early momentum after Jesuit (9-3, 2-3 Delta River League) was held to three-and-out on its opening drive. Russell blocked the punt and jumped on the ball on the Jesuit 6-yard line. Three plays later junior Nate Jones dove in for a 2-yard touchdown.
Jesuit responded with a 74-yard drive, capped by senior Ben Parietti’s 12-yard touchdown run.
Tracy opened the second quarter with a three-play, 69-yard drive that included a 42-yard run for Jones and a 21-yard touchdown run for senior Chaz Briggs.
Jesuit scored right after on junior Denzel Perkins’ 95-yard kickoff return. The Marauders took the lead at the close of the second quarter with senior quarterback Jason Elenberger’s 25-yard pass to Parietti.
Tracy started the second half with Jones scoring on a 91-yard kickoff return to tie it 21-21.
Jesuit sophomore Ben Bisharat took advantage of an open path for a 57-yard touchdown, and Elenberger passed to senior Michael Molier for a 76-yard touchdown midway through the third.
The Marauders scored at the start of the fourth with Parietti’s 25-yard touchdown run. Tracy responded with senior quarterback Damon Stroup’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Jones in the end zone.
Jesuit then took its time on a 64-yard drive, including Elenberger’s 19-yard touchdown run, to go ahead 49-28 with 2:23 left on the clock.
Tracy finished the night with 247 yards of offense. Jones totaled 123 yards on 18 carries for most of Tracy’s 187 rushing yards.
“Tonight we played hard, we just didn’t do enough,” Jones said. “There were a couple mistakes that we had. At the end of the day, Jesuit just played harder than us tonight.”
Stroup completed five of 11 passes for 60 yards, including two to senior Eric Hawkins and two to junior Josh Clarke. Senior kicker Cameron Divoky made two of three point-after kicks, and junior Jason Nelson ran in a 2-point conversion. On defense Tracy junior Jacob Alvarado had an interception and 35-yard return.
Jesuit covered 370 yards on offense with 270 yards rushing and 100 yards passing.
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.