By TAYLOR LUCKIE
For The Union Democrat
Following the heartbreaking overtime loss to the Hughson Huskies two weeks ago, the Bret Harte Bullfrogs were looking for a big rebound against the Mesa Verde Mavericks.
And rebound they did.
Behind a dominant defensive performance, the Bullfrogs pounded the Mavericks by a score of 45-7.
Although it took the Frogs almost the entire first quarter to score
their first touchdown, they never looked back afterwards. Star senior
Justice Rasmussen scored on a seldom-used reverse from Jordan King.
Rasmussen would proceed to run from 17 yards out to put Bret Harte up
7-0 with 33 seconds left in the first.
"That reverse was just set up perfectly, honestly," said Rasmussen.
"That was great blocking, a great fake. We were running that sweep
earlier in the game, trying to get them off guard. Then the reverse
just set itself up. We had a great block from right tackle Jared
Taylor, he kind of loops around, kind of like a crack I'd say, but it's
an awesome play with awesome blocks by everyone. The cornerback led me
in, just great teamwork all around."
Rasmussen would score a second touchdown, a 1-yard run with 35 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
He wasn't the only Bullfrog running back to hit paydirt Friday night.
Senior Tanner Sherrow scored a 2-yard touchdown with 8:54 left in the first and a 3-yarder with 1:33 left in the third.
Sherrow also capped off the Bullfrog's scoring for the night,
juking and jiving his way from the 13-yard line to bring the score to
the final of 45-7.
Senior quarterback Seth Holcomb also had himself a nice game,
throwing for 213 yards and one touchdown. He connected with Jordan King
for a 36-yard score with 8:44 remaining in the third quarter and put
Bret Harte up 28-7.
"It felt really good" said Holcomb. "I thank my O-line, they gave
me time back there to throw and the receivers ran great routes and
caught the ball. I just threw them the ball."
As the offensive line enjoyed much success, the defensive line was just as effective.
"The defensive line did awesome all week" said senior defensive
lineman Jarrett Duarte, "Coach (Kelly) Osborn has been telling us how
to execute, just get our hands set, be low. The D-line played a very
good part in the defensive performance tonight."
Duarte and his fellow linemen got to the Mesa Verde QB throughout
the night. They ended the game with seven sacks against the Mavericks
"I think our defense has played solid all year long," said
Bullfrogs head coach Scott Edwards. "You go back to homecoming week and
we had a hell of a night that night except for a couple of plays where
we didn't wrap up and finish our tackles. Our defense is much improved
this year, not just tonight. Look at our point differential, it's been
on the positive side for most of the year and our losses have been
tight games. The defense has been a strong suit for us and our guys did
a good job tonight. They understand the tendencies, they reacted well.
The defense played a tremendous game tonight."
The Bullfrogs (3-2) will need to keep up their strong defensive
play when they take on the Linden Lions next week. The game will mark
the start of Mother Lode League play.
"You know what, I haven't seen anything on Linden," said Edwards.
"I'm assuming that they're doing some of the things from last year, so
we've gotta go back to some old school basics and learn how to play
option football again and all those responsibilities that come with it.
There's no question that our schedule changes now that we're getting
into league. The MLL is always a physical kind of football, so we'll
watch the film and see what we've got to work on and what we've got to
improve on, but mainly how to stop the veer option."
The Bullfrogs host Linden on Friday at 7:30 p.m.