Now the Jaguars (1-2) can put last year’s 53-35 loss to Tracy (0-3) behind them, and they can also finish their pre-league season on a positive note as they prepare to start Valley Oak League play next week at Manteca.
“We’ve got this momentum now,” junior lineman Steven Mendoza said. “This whole time we’ve been fighting for it. This team sees we can do it. All the frustration is gone. We’re starting with a clean slate.”
Mendoza was part of a Kimball defensive line that kept Tracy’s offense in check Friday. He said that his team’s defensive strategy worked as planned.
“I saw they had a pretty good fullback who was running strong up the middle. That was a challenge that I was ready to take. I wanted to try to stop that middle the best that I could,” he added. “They just might have got a little tired before us. They’re a very good team.”
Kimball quarterback Zack Johnson said his team was hungry for the win.
“At practice this week we decided we were tired of losing and we wanted to work as a family, work as one unit. Working as one unit we accomplished our goals and made that happen tonight,” he said.
The Jaguars’ offensive line opened that paths that he and running backs Alex Toledo and Evan Owens needed to cover 167 yards on the ground. Johnson ran for 62 yards on 12 carries, Toledo for 51 yards on 14 runs and Owens for 54 yards on eight runs. Johnson also completed eight of 16 passes for 173 yards.
“Now we’ve figured out how to win. We’ve got that under our belts. We got Lathrop last year and now we’ve got this one this year. Now we’ll keep it rolling this year.”
Tracy’s offense covered 116 yards rushing, with fullback Bruce Russell leading the way with 83 yards on 15 carries. Tracy quarterback Luke Hanna had 33 yards rushing on 19 carries, with Kimball’s defenders putting a dent in his numbers with four sacks for a cumulative loss of 22 yards, including two in a row from Mendoza and also from Chris Sampino and Salvador Chavez. Hanna completed 10 of 18 passes for 164 yards.
Tracy scored first as Russell and Hanna moved the ball on the ground to set up a 5-yard touchdown run for Russell in the first quarter. Nick Contereas made the first of his two point-after kicks.
Kimball started a touchdown drive on the next series with Johnson’s 29-yard run, and finished it as the Jaguar line plowed forward to score Johnson on a 1-yard run. Cody Arledge ran in the 2-point conversion.
Johnson connected with Charles Walker on a pass up the middle, and Walker jumped free of Tracy’s tacklers to take the ball in for a 54-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Kimball’s Cody Arledge made the first of three point-after kicks.
Tracy’s Tyler Cox had a 27-yard kickoff return followed by Hanna’s pass to Emiliano Aguirre, who fought his way forward for a 27-yard gain. Russell finished the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run with 22 seconds left in the half. Hanna ran in the 2-point conversion to make it a 15-15 game at the half.
Kimball started with second half with a 73-yard touchdown drive, and covered most of that distance on two consecutive pass plays, including one for 28 yards from Johnson to Toledo, and a 25-yard pass from Johnson to Austin Griffith. Johnson scored on a 4-yard run.
The Jaguars launched a 78-yard drive in the late third quarter, including Johnson’s 25-yard touchdown pass to Dario Valadez at the start of the fourth quarter.
Tracy lost the ball on the next series as Kimball’s Walker picked up a fumble, but Tracy got the ball back when Mitchell Charlesworth picked up a Kimball fumble midway through the fourth.
Hanna connected with Davon Powell on a 62-yard pass. A couple penalties pushed the Bulldogs back, but Hanna found Powell again in the middle for a 20-yard touchdown pass with a little more than two minutes left on the clock.
The Bulldogs held Kimball to three-and-out on the next series, but were unable to make progress themselves and Kimball got the ball again and ran out the clock.
Tracy Coach Matt Shrout said that Kimball’s quarterback Johnson defied the Tracy team’s efforts to stop the Jaguars’ passing game.
“We’re getting better. We have a letdown on a play and that’s how they score on us,” Shrout said. “We’ll get better. I truly believe we haven’t played our best football and that’s where we’re headed.”
Kimball Coach Steve Anastasio said his team kept up its intensity the entire time, and a touchdown to start off the second half made the difference.
“We broke down a little bit early when they were able to run the ball on us pretty easily, but we were able to play a little better and slow down their fullback. In the second half we didn’t let down,” Anastasio said.
Sophomores: Kimball 12, Tracy 6
After a close first half, Kimball (3-0) and Tracy (1-2) settled into a defensive contest in the second half and Kimball held on for the win.
Dylan Davis and Gaige Allen moved the ball on the ground in the Jaguars’ second possession of the night, and quarterback Wes Power completed passes to Seth Wills and Damon Jackson on an 80-yard touchdown drive that finished with Allen’s 1-yard touchdown run at the start of the second quarter.
Tracy pushed into Kimball territory on the next series but had to give up the ball on the Jaguar 34-yard line. Tracy’s Devin Foster intercepted a pass on the next play, and on the next play after that the Bulldogs’ Braeden Oki found a gap in the middle of the line to run in a 34-yard touchdown.
Kimball came back on the next series with a 29-yard pass from Power to Josh Searle, who stepped into the end zone for the touchdown.
Tracy’s next opportunity to score came at the start of the second half as Eric Hawkins got away for a 70-yard run down the left side. Kimball’s Wills was in hot pursuit, and caught up to Hawkins near the 5-yard line, made the tackle, and forced a fumble, which the Jaguars' Allen picked up and ran back 32 yards.
“We were worried all week about that toss and they got one off,” Kimball Coach Steven Wichman said. “Seth chased him down. He never gave up on that play and forced a fumble for us, and Gaige did a nice job running that across the field. Without that play with those two guys it could have been a different ball game.”
Kimball had just begun another march up the field when the Bulldogs’ Foster made his second key interception of the night on Power’s 30-yard pass down the right side to Jackson.
Tracy Coach Greg Smith said that he hopes to see his offense be more consistent.
“Our defense did a great job. Like last week, we couldn’t put it together, but we’re going to be OK,” he said. “I feel like we have a good group of guys who are working hard together, so we’ll put it together.”
Varsity scoring summary
Tracy 7 8 0 7 - 22
Kimball 8 7 7 7 - 29
05:12 – Tracy. Luke Hanna 5-yard run. Nick Contreras kick. Kimball 0, Tracy 7
02:18 – Kimball. Zack Johnson 1-yard run. Cody Arledge runs in 2-point conversion. Kimball 8, Tracy 7
01:37 – Kimball. Johnson 54-yard pass to Charles Walker. Arledge kick. Kimball 15, Tracy 7
00:22 – Tracy. Bruce Russell 4-yard run. Hanna runs in 2-point conversion. Kimball 15, Tracy 15
07:53 – Kimball. Johnson 4-yard run. Arledge kick. Kimball 22, Tracy 15
11:52 – Kimball. Johnson 25-yard pass to Dario Valadez. Arledge kick. Kimball 29, Tracy 15
02:06 – Tracy. Hanna 20-yard pass to Davon Powell. Contreras kick. Kimball 29, Tracy 22