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The Highlands Scots varsity football team from North Highlands used its considerable size advantage to narrowly defeat the Bret Harte Bullfrogs 28-21 Friday night at Dorroh Field in Angels Camp.
Bret Harte head coach Casey Kester said his team’s defense was able to contain some of the Scots’ key players and never let the game get too far out of reach.
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“(Highlands quarterback Gerald Davis) is a very good athlete … and we were able to put some hurt on him,” Kester said. “I just don’t have the beef right now to really do what we want to do.”
Bret Harte forced three turnovers in the first quarter.
The Scots’ first drive of the game ended when Bullfrogs linebacker Karson Kirk intercepted a pass by Davis on 4th-and-6.
Following a three-and-out and punt by Bret Harte, Bullfrog cornerback Julian Gonzalez intercepted another pass by Davis on the Scots’ second drive.
The ensuing Bret Harte drive ended in a punt that was fumbled by Highlands and retrieved by the Bullfrogs.
However, the Bullfrogs were unable to convert the turnovers into points and the game’s first quarter ended with the score 0-0.
Highlands scored two touchdowns early in the second quarter to take a 14-0 lead, but an 80-yard touchdown by Bret Harte off a short pass from Bullfrog quarterback Ryan Kraft to running back Javon Gilbert cut the Scots’ lead in half.
After the Scots took a 21-7 lead, Bret Harte drove 74 yards down the field for a touchdown with under minute left in the first half.
From the Scots’ 22-yard-line, Kraft rolled out to the left sideline and launched a pass clear across the field to Bret Harte receiver Cameron Silva in the right corner of the endzone.
“I saw Silva had this man one-on-one and knew Silva would get the ball, so I just threw it to him and let him do the work,” Kraft said.
The first half ended with the Scots leading 21-14 and both teams went scoreless in the third quarter.
Highlands’ scored its last touchdown at 6:52 in the fourth quarter on a drive that ate a considerable amount of clock.
Bret Harte’s final touchdown came about four minutes later on a pass from Kraft to Kirk.
“They got the biggest O-line, D-line we’ll ever see, best running back we’ll ever see, and best quarterback we’ll ever see,” Kraft said of Highlands. “They average 40-something points a game and we held them to 28, so our defense did amazing and kept us in this game.
“We did pretty good, but we’ve gotta capitalize on big moments and big turnovers.”
Bret Harte finishes out-of-conference games with a 1-2 record as it enters Mother Lode League play next Friday with a home game against Argonaut High School.
Kester said the potential loss of offensive linemen Tyler Rosen and Tanner Stoner to injuries suffered in the game against Highlands will be a difficult hurdle to overcome.
“Not only do we have to adjust to Argonaut’s offense, we’ll also have to adjust to guys in new places and positions, which is always difficult,” Kester said.
Contact Alex MacLean at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 588-4530.