Bullfrogs run wild in 61-19 thumping of Gustine

Bret Harte senior tailback Justice Rasmussen rushed for five touchdowns, tying an all-time school record, and the host Bullfrogs annihilated Gustine 61-19 on Friday night.

"Justice was insane out there on that football field tonight," said Bullfrog sophomore right tackle Jared Taylor. "It is an honor to block for Justice Rasmussen."

"It was an incredible feeling watching Justice run," said Bullfrog senior left tackle Frank Kotowski. "Your heart gets racing because he just won't stop no matter how many people try stopping him."

Rasmussen carried just eight times and garnered 154 yards. That's 19.2

yards per carry. And the beauty of it all is that Bret Harte's

5-foot-7, 140-pound ultra-shifty, motorized bazooka refused to take a

bow.

"Everything tonight," said Rasmussen, "was the result of the play of

our offensive linemen. 100 percent of anything I did out there was

because of them. They're the ones who made it happen."

Kotowski, Taylor, guards Rodney Riner, Jared Duarte and Mike Rocco, and center Jesse Acedo were indeed barbaric.

"Our O-line stepped up tonight," said Riner. "We established our

running game early, we never let up and they had trouble stopping it."

"We're hard workers and we felt like snow plows out there," said

Rocco. "In our scrimmages this week, our second-team defense gave us a

great look and that paid off for us tonight. Also, our practices were

so intense all week and that intensity carried over onto the field

tonight. We were one feisty football team."

Levi Goodale gave Bret Harte (1-1) a 3-0 lead with a first-quarter 39 yard-field goal.

With 4:40 left in the quarter, Rocco and Taylor paved a wide hole,

Rasmussen darted through it for a 6-yard touchdown run and Bret Harte

led 10-0.

Within a span of 16 seconds, Gustine (0-1) scored two touchdowns,

one off a 42-yard pass and the other a 29-yard interception return.

Trailing 13-10, with 48 seconds left in the quarter, Bret Harte had a first down at Gustine's 33-yard line.

Bullfrog senior fullback Tanner Sherrow took a handoff.

"I got the ball and ran towards the right side and our line had

blocked everybody down, so I made a cutback left," explained Sherrow.

The 6-foot, 175-pound fullback quickly advanced from the 33-yard line down to the 20.

"Then I saw a lone cornerback sitting there," said Sherrow.

The Redskin cornerback was Cody Mees, a 5-10, 175-pound senior.

Sherrow had a decision to make: Try and juke this quick defender or ... run over him.

"Well," said Sherrow, "our running backs coach, Coach (Gordon)

Sadler, Sr., has been saying to me, 'Truck over everybody in the first

three quarters and then in the fourth quarter, you can start juking.' "

So Sherrow flattened Mees. It was clean, to be sure. But it was

also an unforgiving get-out-of-my-way, bone-shattering blast.

"Tanner knocked that kid flat backwards to the ground," said Sadler.

"And that surprised their kid because most backs won't choose to do

that."

Sherrow then galloped the final 20 yards into the endzone to

conclude the 33-yard scoring play, and Bret Harte took a 17-13 lead

into the second quarter.

"Tanner just blew that kid up," said Duarte, "and that got our

whole team fired up. After that play by Tanner, our whole team got

going full tilt and never looked back."

With 7:56 left in the first half, Rasmussen rushed for his second

score, this from 18-yards out, and Bret Harte led 24-13. The highlight

of this play was Rasmussen leaping at the 4-yard line and swan-diving

into the endzone.

"My adrenaline was going there and I guess you could call it instincts, too," said Rasmussen.

"But," he added with a smile, "I was thinking this was my one

opportunity to make a long dive into the endzone, so I might as well

take advantage of it."

Soon after, Bullfrog Connor Zumbach expanded the lead to 31-13 with a 7-yard touchdown run.

"This whole game we kept playing with such emotion," said Duarte.

"Before the game, we were all over at (Head) Coach (Scott) Edwards'

house for dinner and he gave us this emotional speech that got us so

excited and fired up. Basically, he wanted us to prove that we could

compete like men."

"That was a great talk by Coach," said Sherrow. "He got us going.

On defense tonight, we kept going - we never stopped hitting people. On

offense, our offensive line were man-movers. They were animals. They

blocked to the whistle. We came here fired up and stayed fired up."

On first down at its own 48 with 45 seconds left in the first half,

Edwards called a Rasmussen run, off tackle - a play that worked for an

earlier score. Then Rocco and Taylor each came through with effective

blocks and Rasmussen ran through the hole.

Then he ran upfield.

Then he cut left. Then right. Then back left. And then the

jet-engine quick Rasmussen headed further left towards the sidelines.

Once there ... aw, forget about it - nobody was catching this kid on

Friday night.

Rasmussen's 52-yard scoring run gave the Frogs a 38-13 halftime lead.

"So," said Taylor, "we get in the locker room and Coach tells us,

'It's 0-0, play like you did in the first half' - and then we did."

Three minutes into the second half, Rasmussen scored on a 7-yard run.

Just over a minute later, Gustine's fourth-down snap from center

went into the endzone. Gustine's punter grabbed the football but was

quickly tackled by - who else? - Rasmussen, and the safety upped the

lead to 47-13.

Later in the quarter, Sherrow scored on a 14-yard run, Rasmussen

raced into the endzone on a 34-yard carry and the lead was 61-13.

On the night, Bret Harte gained 311 yards rushing on 26 carries.

Sherrow had 98 yards on six carries. Bullfrog quarterback Seth Holcomb

completed 4-of-8 passes for 49 yards.

The Bullfrog defense was mostly frenetic and merciless. Gustine

carried the ball 35 times and gained a total of - are you ready for

this? - negative 10 yards. Now that statistic is inflated - or perhaps

the better word is deflated - by three fumbles on punt snaps which

accounted for minus-66 yards rushing. But take those three fumbles away

and Bret Harte's defense still held the Redskins to an average of just

1.5 yards per carry.

"In the first part of the first quarter, we got beat on a few pass

plays, but we rebounded quick," said Sherrow, who had five tackles and

a sack at linebacker. "We didn't let any little thing bother us. We

just kept going and going and hitting people."

Safety Rasmussen had a game-high eight tackles and teammate and

defensive lineman Kurtis Wainwright had seven tackles and a sack.

Linebackers Rocco and Oscar Orozco and defensive back Chad Testa had

five tackles apiece. Cornerback Jordan Gomez had two interceptions and

four tackles. Orozco had a sack and linebacker Josh Bailey had four

tackles, including two sacks.

"Tonight was a lot of fun for us," said Acedo. "We have a group of

guys on this team that trust each other and love the game of football.

I believe we can go far this season. I certainly think so. Actually, I

know so."

11847762
The Union Democrat
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