It’s week 6 of high school football in the Mother Lode and its again a tale of four unique teams and their battle to find success.
Here’s what to expect from this week’s games:
The Bullfrogs lost their first game in Mother Lode League play last week at home. The 35-14 loss to Argonaut came as the team struggled with the loss of seven players to injuries, putting the pressure on the team’s second string. They stepped up, too.
Throughout the first half last week, Bret Harte stood up against a bigger, healthier Argonaut team. Their momentum stalled late in the third quarter.
An errant ‘Frogs snap allowed Argonaut to pressure the kicker in the endzone. The kick ended up at the 10 and two plays later the Mustangs punched it through, giving them a 28-14 lead with 1:57 left in the third.
“That took everything away from us. That was the end of the game,” said Kester after last week’s game.
But that was last week, and there’s better news for the injury list - it’s shrinking.
Two key players for Kester will return to the field Friday night.
Senior Tyler Rosen will return after missing last week’s game with a back injury.
And senior Alikhan Abusaidi is back after injuring his knee in the first game of the season.
Rosen and Abusaidi play together on the right side of the offensive line, Kester said. And their level of teamwork is an important part of the team’s game plan.
“There’s a lot of leadership there,” he said.
They are about the same size and are able to capitalize on their experience of playing together, Kester said.
There won’t be any major changes to how the offense and defense run this week.
It’s mid-season, so plans are pretty well set in place, Kester said.
Practices have been focusing on repetition.
Kester said he felt the defense wasn’t as aggressive as it could have been last week, so coaches have stepped up the intensity and competition during defensive drills.
The Bullfrogs will play Winters High School and a quarterback that’s known to run the ball well.
That’s something Bret Harte will be ready for.
“They run the spread to run the ball rather than to pass the ball,” said Kester.
For the ‘Frogs that will mean trying to contain the quarterback, not going for the sack, but keeping him from running the ball.
While the ‘Frogs’ head into Friday night’s away game 1-3, Kester is reinforcing the need for mental toughness.
“We’ve been working very, very hard to get the players to understand that they can’t give up on anything at any time,” Kester said.
The Bret Harte Bullfrogs will play at Winters High School at 7:30 p.m.
After Sonora handed Calaveras their first loss of the season last week, head coach Jason Weatherby remained positive about the team’s season.
“We scored 50 points, so we’ve got to be proud of that,” he said after the 59-50 loss.
Weatherby’s two major takeaways from last week?
“We have a very powerful offense,” he said. “Our defense is not as tough as they think they are.”
That leaves plenty of room for improvement.
“We have a lot of work to do to become a championship-style team,” Weatherby said. “I was more disappointed in our defensive performance.”
Heading into tonight’s matchup against Argonaut — which is also homecoming for Calaveras — Weatherby said there will be positional changes for Calaveras. And the coaching staff is preparing for a totally different offense than what Sonora ran.
But that’s about all Weatherby wanted to reveal.
He’s keeping this week’s specifics under wraps until game time.
Calaveras High School hosts Argonaut tonight at 7 p.m.
The start of the Wildcats’ football season? Shaky. Since picking up their first win in Week 3? Anything but shaky.
Last week Sonora toppled their cross-river rival Calaveras in an offensive showcase.
Sonora junior Jack Camara and junior quarterback Jake Gookin had an impressive night running the ball.
Gookin’s 53-yard run put the Wildcats on the board minutes into the first quarter.
Camara added two rushing touchdowns in the first half, too.
At the end of the game Sonora had racked up 59 points to Calaveras’ 50.
“We lost a lot of guys to injuries,” Sonora coach Bryan Craig said after the game. “I’m
extremely proud of the guys who stepped up in their place. I don’t think we’ve ever given up 50
points and won.”
Craig could not be reached for comment on tonight’s game.
The Sonora Wildcats will play at Amador High School in Sutter Creek at 7 p.m.
The Bears are on the road this week for a matchup against Linden High School.
They’re also protecting a 4-0 start to their season.
The Bears had a bye last week after defeating the Hughson Huskies 28-20 at Hughson for their second road win.
Senior running back Dominic Esquivel and senior Luke Fulkerson put in strong performances in Week 4.
Esquivel’s speed and strength has proven difficult for opposing teams to contain. At one point in the game against Hughson, Esquivel dragged four defenders with him for a five yard gain, setting up an eventual touchdown.
The Hughson game gave Bears fans the chance to see Fulkerson’s skill at the quarterback position.
During the first half on a fourth and seven, Summerville junior quarterback Mike Litzler tossed the ball to Fulkerson in the backfield, who threw a touchdown pass to a wide open receiver. The point after attempt was good and the Bears grabbed a 14-6 lead.
When it comes to bye weeks, head coach Sean Leveroos said it can be a momentum buster.
Especially dealing with teenagers.
“We thrive on routine, Leveroos said.
That said, the time has also given the team time to identify some needed fixes on both sides of the ball.
Leveroos declined to share any specifics, but did say he expects his team to get off the bus at Linden with plenty of energy.
“Right now we’re really healthy,” he said.
The Summerville Bears will play tonight at Linden High School at 7 p.m.
Contact Melissa Blanton at (209) 588-4324 or email@example.com.