By TAYLOR LUCKIE
For The Union Democrat
The Bret Harte Bullfrogs traveled to the land of the Coyote last week to take on Denair on its home turf. The Frogs were hoping to build on the success of the previous week, a 61-19 trouncing at home against the Gustine Redskins.
They came away triumphant, posting a dominant 42-22 victory and improving their season total to 2-1.
The Bullfrogs used their superior ground game to control the action. The team scored a total of six rushing touchdowns from four different players to put away the Coyotes.
Senior running back Justice Rasmussen had the majority of the carries, with a total of 100 yards and a pair of 10-yard touchdowns. Both of his scores, one midway through the first quarter and the other to close out the second, put his team on top 7-0 and 13-8, respectively.
Following Rasmussen’s second TD, the Coyotes would never regain the lead.
“It was a team effort. The linemen blocked good and for me, the crack sweep was working well” said Rasmussen, “I think individually, as backs today, we all had our plays that were working for us. The fullbacks had certain plays that were working for them. Tanner, another R-back, had a few plays that were really working for him and I had that sweep that was working for me.”
“Tanner” refers to No. 2 Tanner Sherrow, a senior running back who also scored twice for Bret Harte, to go along with his 38 rushing yards. His first touchdown came at 10:07 of the third quarter from five yards out and put the Frogs up 20-8.
Sherrow credited his success to his teammates.
“The first one, we were about four yards out, and it was a blast, and Rodney Riner came down, kicked out and made a great block,” said Sherrow. “I just read it, cut back and only had one guy to beat, ran him over and made it in.”
Touchdown No. 2 for Sherrow was a one yard run with 3:44, once again in the third quarter. It also proved to be the dagger, as it put Bret Harte up 26-14.
“The second one was only one yard, if that,” Sherrow said. “Rodney Riner, again on the same play, came down and killed a guy for me so I could get in.”
It’s safe to say that the offensive line played a big part in getting both Sherrow and Rasmussen safely into the end zone.
In addition to the four touchdowns scored by these two running backs, senior Oscar Orozco and junior Connor Zumbach each had scoring runs. Orozco had a nice 30-yarder for his score with 7:30 left in the game.
However, the game’s highlight came on the team’s previous possession, the second play of the fourth quarter. Running back Zumbach swept his way from 53 yards out and reached the end zone 39 seconds into the game’s final frame.
Bullfrogs head coach Scott Edwards was pleased with the progress that Zumbach has shown.
“He’s an inexperienced player for us that we’ve been trying to give a whole lot of reps to and groom because we see potential there,” said Edwards. “He runs the ball hard and out of control and with him it’s just a matter of learning the game and learning the steps. He showed patience on that play. But more than anything Jared Taylor and Mike Rocco, they just crushed a hole open for him and Tanner led him up. It was executed really well. It was like he was shot out of a cannon.”
Edwards saw echoes of the team’s first game, a heartbreaking loss to Lowell. “It’s kind of like week one: frustrating. It was Jekyll and Hyde. Week one we opened up and had a solid first half, then we were just a completely different team the second half. Tonight was a little bit of the same, but reversed. We opened up just flat, then came back and had a really dominating performance in the second half. We still haven’t figured out what we can do, what our personality is yet.”
Edwards also sees upcoming opponent Hughson as very dangerous.
“I think Hughson, from the first two weeks, has shown that they’re obviously a solid club,” he said. “In order for us to come out on top we need to put together four quarters of work and we’ve only done that once out of the three games so far. We’ve got to figure out how to make it click like that.”
If the Bret Harte Bullfrogs play as well as they did in the second half against Denair, they should come away victorious.
Bret Harte hosts the Hughson Huskies for homecoming on Friday at 7:30 p.m.