Game times are 5 p.m. for the sophomores, 7:15 p.m. for the varsity.
Wolf Pack coach Matt Loggins said a 11-8 win in Atwater last Friday, Sept. 3, was a positive start to the season, but he saw plenty of room for improvement.
“We definitely have to be more consistent offensively,” Loggins said this week. “Our goal is to be more balanced between run and pass, and we did not achieve that. We won the game, but there’s a lot of work to do offensively.”
Atwater scored first on a safety, and West evened it up 2-2 in the third quarter, scoring a safety on the Falcons’ botched punt attempt. In the fourth quarter, West quarterback Jake Peterson connected with D.J. Watson on a screen pass, and Watson ran it 25 yards to the 1-yard line to set up Peterson’s run into the end zone.
With about three minutes left, the Wolf Pack set up a 25-yard field goal for Miguel Figueroa, which made it an 11-2 game.
Loggins credits the defense, including Rami Booth, Jonny Cabral, Dominic Williams, Stephen Mills and Noel Ramirez, with shutting down the Atwater team, whose only touchdown came after West’s field goal, when the Falcons returned the kickoff back to the Wolf Pack’s 5-yard line and scored on a run as the clock wound down.
“We had a lot of adversity for our first game. Our seniors are leading us well,” Loggins said, adding that the team’s juniors also stepped up as the game got under way.
After opening at home with a 40-0 loss to Cosumnes Oaks, the Jaguars from Kimball High will have to apply the lessons from their first game against an experienced West High team.
Jaguar players said after the game that the loss was far from discouraging. After falling behind 33-0 at the half, the Jags allowed just one more touchdown at the start of the third quarter.
“We did good for a first-year varsity team,” sophomore tailback Evan Owens said. “We’ve just got a lot of things to work on. We’re progressing. We never quit and kept our heads up.”
“We came out with a lot of intensity, but we have to pick up on the game speed,” sophomore quarterback Zack Johnson said.
Kimball got into scoring position twice in the second half, only to be forced to give up the ball. Team captain Chris Sampino said those battles just short of the goal line would make an impression as his team prepared for West.
“We’ve got the strength and power to do it, but we’ve got to get rid of those mental mistakes,” he said. “We’re really, really close, and then one thing goes wrong and we lose the ball.”
Head coach Steve Anastasio said he saw changes in the team just from the first quarter to the fourth, when the team saw that it had to fire up its intensity to stay in the game.
“I’m encouraged by the youngsters, growing up real fast. We’ve just got to work on being a little more consistent.”
This week, the Bulldogs head to Manteca to face their oldest rivals, the Buffaloes, who started their season with a 51-22 win over Galt last week. Players figure last week’s 26-13 loss to Los Banos was a chance to purge any lingering early-season jitters.
“We had the right game plan, but we were just nervous. It was the first (varsity) game for a lot of us,” quarterback Casey Wichman said. “We have a lot of people that aren’t experienced … but we should be fine this week.”
Head coach Matt Shrout said Los Banos had already played a game in the zero week of the season Aug. 27, so last week’s contest looked like an experienced team against a team of newcomers.
“We didn’t scrimmage very tough teams, which is my fault, I guess. So that was our eye-opener, our wakeup call,” he said. “I think the kids realize this is what it’s going to be like now.”
Wide receiver Cole McDaniel said he expects Tracy will have corrected its mistakes by the time the Bulldogs head to Manteca.
“A lot of people there were shell-shocked more than anything. We were the much better team,” he said. “I really didn’t see the team that we are out here (at practice). We’ve just got to work on our assignments, and I think we’ll be fine.”
Much of what Tracy tried offensively last week went up against tough Los Banos defense. Wichman completed just four of 22 passes for 31 yards. Tracy’s first touchdown came on the opening kickoff of the second half, when Dominique Harrison ran the ball back 83 yards for a touchdown, but Tracy missed the point-after.
Fullback Darcy Faiaipau was Tracy’s leading rusher, with 49 yards on eight carries, and Wichman ran for 45 yards on 12 runs, including a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Millennium Falcons
The Millennium team begins its season at 0-1 after a frustrating 28-27 loss to Highlands on Sept. 4 at West High’s Steve Lopez Stadium. The Falcons will play at home again Saturday, Sept. 11, against West Campus of Sacramento, with game time at 7 p.m. at Steve Lopez Stadium.
The Scots of Highlands High previously beat West Campus 56-7 in their zero-week game Aug. 27. Last week, the Highlands team forced the Falcons to play catch-up in the second half, and missed conversions turned out to be the difference in the end.
“If we would have stepped up and played the whole game like we did in the second half, it would have been a different story,” head coach Jayson Dias said after the game.
The Falcons showed signs early on that they could dominate the Scots, as they pushed the Highlands team back into its own territory and got the ball back for a short drive and Pedro DeRobles’ 3-yard touchdown run and Demaurier Blackwell’s point-after.
“After the first quarter, we started settling down, because we thought we had the game in the bag,” Falcon quarterback Jamani Woods said. “After halftime we had a little discussion, and I told the team that this game is not over. That opened our eyes to the fact that they’re playing hard, so we need to play hard, too.”
Robert Garvin, the Scots’ running back and wide receiver, turned out to be the Falcons’ biggest problem as he eluded Millennium tacklers on his way to four touchdowns.
The Falcons scored in the third quarter as Woods, with 65 yards on 10 carries, made a 5-yard run into the end zone. DeRobles ran in the ball on the conversion for 2 points. The Falcons started the fourth with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Drew Carroll, but the Scots blocked the kick. Woods scored another on an 11-yard run but ended short of the goal line on the 2-point conversion attempt.