Tracy’s 53-35 win over Kimball High was the Bulldogs’ first win of the season, and a chance for the Tracy team (1-2) to showcase everything that works on their offense.
The Kimball Jaguars (0-3) finally made it onto the scoreboard -- and on their first possession of the game -- after being shut out their first two weeks. They continued to come up with big plays on the ground and in the air to score four more times.
The Bulldogs were still dominant all night. Tracy scored on every possession in the first half to hold a 34-7 lead at halftime. The only possessions where the Bulldogs didn’t score Friday were at the start of the fourth quarter when the Tracy starters were taking a break, and at the very end when Tracy ran out the clock to end the game.
“We executed everything really well,” Tracy senior quarterback Casey Wichman said. “We came into the game knowing that we were going to do our basic stuff. We knew we could run the ball and knew we could pass the ball. We just had to make sure we made no mental mistakes.”
Senior fullback Jordan Williams added that everything worked as planned for the Bulldogs.
“The line blocked for us and we did our assignments,” he said, adding that now Tracy has more challenges ahead as the Bulldogs prepare for their league season. “If we practice hard enough we know we can do better. We’re trying to go all the way.”
It took Tracy less than two minutes to get on the scoreboard with a 74-yard drive that Wichman finished with an 11-yard run into the end zone.
Kimball’s offense responded with a 65-yard march that ended on quarterback Zack Johnson’s 16-yard pass to Alex Toledo in the end zone, the first touchdown for the Kimball varsity team. Cody Arledge’s point after kick tied it up 7-7.
Tracy senior fullback Jordan Williams led the way on the next drive and scored on a 5-yard run. He was the game’s leading rusher with 208 yards on 19 carries and he scored three of the Bulldogs’ touchdowns.
Wichman scored twice more for Tracy in the second quarter on 17-yard run right on the heels of a 37-yard pass to Casey Anklam, and again on a 1-yard run near the end of the quarter. In between, Wichman completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Bruce Russell on a series that started with Dominique Harrison’ interception of a Kimball pass.
Kimball scored on its first possession of the third quarter on Johnson’s 19-yard keeper. Williams then scored for Tracy on a 2-yard run, and Tracy backup quarterback Cody Daniel scored another on a 17-yard run.
Kimball ended the third quarter with Johnson’s 15-yard pass to Chris Sampino, and started the fourth with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Sampino. He turned out to be the Jaguars’ leading receiver, with four catches for 100 yards as Johnson completed 10 of 18 passes for 172 yards.
Friday’s game might count as a loss for the Jaguars, but the team’s five touchdowns count as substantial progress for the fledgling team.
“We really stepped it up tonight. Everything just came together,” Kimball team captain Sampino said. “Now the only thing we’ve got left is to stop them. We’ve just got to work on defense.”
“Now we’ve proved we can do this. Next year we’re going to come out and we’re going to come out hard. We have a really tough schedule coming up, but if we play like this in those games we’ll do fine.”
The only series where Tracy had to give up the ball came early in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs turned over the ball on the Kimball 20-yard line, and Kimball’s William Snell started with an 11-yard run, and then broke away on the left side for a 69-yard run to the end zone. Toledo picked up the following onside kick for the Jaguars, and Johnson scored a 48-yard scramble all the way in for a touchdown.
Tracy coach Matt Shrout said he knew that Kimball would have a capable offense, so he wasn’t surprised when Kimball scored three touchdowns in a rowafter Shrout put in his secondary players at the end of the third quarter. Kimball cut Tracy's 47-14 lead to 47-35 before Shrout put his starters back in.
“We wanted to get all of our guys in, and it was a good lesson for those guys that have been standing around during practice,” he said. “Now they know why they’re not playing all the time. They have some good athletes over there (at Kimball), so if we didn’t tackle they were going to score and that’s what happened.”
Tracy picked up Kimball’s next onside kick, and a few plays later Williams made a 24-yard run to the end zone. Tracy kicker Kevin Leonardo made five of seven point-after kicks, and Tracy landed short on a 2-point conversion attempt. Kimball kicker Arledge made all five of his point-after kicks.
Kimball coach Steve Anastasio said that he was excited to see his team find success on the plays it has practiced, and see special teams and the offensive line become effective.
“Zack (Johnson) came into his own tonight. I thought our receivers were just awesome and our running backs too,” he said, adding that after a rough start the Jaguars showed that they will learn and improve.
“We took some baby steps to get better and we told the kids to never quit. All of a sudden we took off running. So hopefully we’ll continue to run.”
Sophomores: Kimball 45, Tracy 28
Kimball (1-2) got its first win of the season over Tracy (0-3) after coming back from an early deficit. The teams traded touchdowns on on all but one possession in the first half, Tracy opening with a 33-yard touchdown run for DeAndre Wilson. Kimball relied on Gaige Allen to move the ball, and a 42-yard run in the Jaguars’ first possession got him to the 1-yard line and he scored two plays later.
Wilson made a 65-yard run down the left side to score again for the Bullpups, and Kimball responded at the start of the second quarter with another drive and a 2-yard touchdown run for Allen into the end zone. Kimball’s Aaron Freschi picked up a fumble to get the ball back for his team, and Allen ran in another a few plays later from 25 yards out.
Allen scored another on a 53-yard run early in the second quarter, Tracy quarterback Luke Hanna’s 51-yard pass to Tyler Mendoes and a 24-yard touchdown run for Wilson kept the Bullpups in the game. Kimball ended the first half with a 15-yard touchdown run for Dario Valadez.
Kimball quarterback Nicholas Martinez passed to Valadez on a 12-yard touchdown to open the third quarter, and Allen came up with a 30-yard run around the right side to the end zone make it a 45-21 game. Tracy quarterback Hanna ran the ball in from the 1-yard line at the start of the fourth to make it a 28-45 game. Tommy Langley made all four of Tracy’s point-after kicks, and Kimball’s Logan Finley made four of six point after kicks, and Kimball missed a 2-point conversion attempt.
“We had a hard week at practice. We emphasized being aggressive all week. I feel like they came out very focused and it just put us on top,” Kimball coach Steven Wichman said.
Tracy coach Greg Smith said that he saw a better offense on his Tracy team compared with the last couple of weeks.
“We came out with more intensity,” he said. “We started out well, but when we couldn’t make the stops on defense that switched the momentum around. As long as we get better each week we’ll be ready for league.