For the Union Democrat

The Calaveras High football team traveled to Amador on Friday, winning the matchup by a score of 26-10.

Calaveras received the opening kickoff and advanced the ball all the way to Amador’s 25-yard line, but turned the ball over on downs after a failed fourth down conversion attempt. Calaveras then forced an Amador punt and began their second drive from the Buffaloes’ 48-yard line. Amador then forced a punt of their own, but fumbled the ball right back to Calaveras on their own 12-yard line on their first play of the drive. Senior running back Tanner Joses then punched the ball into the endzone from three yards out, and a successful point after kick gave Calaveras a 7-0 lead with 2:30 left in the first quarter.

Amador then punted again, but senior Buffalo defensive back Hunter Jolly intercepted senior Calaveras quarterback Kyle Byrd, returning the ball to Calaveras’ 41-yard line with 11:06 remaining in the second quarter. Amador took quick advantage of the turnover, with senior kicker Juan Herrera scoring a 23 yard field goal and leaving the score 7-3 with 6:34 left in the half.

On the ensuing Calaveras drive Byrd threw a 27 yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Logan Arledge, putting their team up 14-3 with 4:45 left before halftime. Calaveras then forced an Amador punt and on their next drive Byrd completed a 36 yard pass to Arledge on fourth down to get to the Buffaloes’ 15-yard line. Joses then smashed through several Buffalo defenders from five yards out to score with 47 seconds left. A missed point after attempt left the score at 20-3.

Junior Buffalo defensive back Caleb Sulusi returned the following kickoff almost 50 yards, and with the addition of a facemask penalty Amador started their drive at the Calaveras 16-yard line. Sophomore Buffalo quarterback Gus Gedney then threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Dustin Martin, and the point after kick put the score at 20-10 with 22 seconds remaining.

The Buffaloes then intercepted a reverse pass on the next Calaveras drive, but with only 10 seconds left in the half, elected to take a knee and head for the locker room. The Buffaloes received the ball in the second half and advanced all the way to the Calaveras 6-yard line, but on first and goal Sulusi fumbled and Calaveras recovered. Calaveras then fumbled themselves at their own 46, with Martin recovering at the 42. Despite the turnover, the Buffaloes failed to secure a first down and turned the ball over on downs. Amador forced a Calaveras punt, and yet another Buffalo fumble gave the ball right back to Calaveras, leading to a scoreless third quarter.

With 10:06 left in the game, Byrd then connected with Joses for a 35 yard touchdown pass. A failed two point conversion attempt left the score at 26-10. Calaveras then forced an Amador punt, which the Buffalo punter shanked. The ball made contact with a Calaveras player and was then recovered by Amador, which led to an almost ten minute delay while the officials debated possession. The discussion led to some confusion and consternation in the crowd, and the officials eventually gave the ball to the Buffaloes on their own 27-yard line.

Amador then advanced to midfield, and a targeting penalty gave them the ball at the Calaveras 36. Gedney threw a 34 yard pass to Martin to get to the two yard line, but four Calaveras stops kept the Buffaloes out of the endzone. Calaveras then ran out the clock to secure the victory.

“We played physical,” said Amador head coach Bill Baker after the game. “We played tough, but we had a couple turnovers and kept giving the other team opportunities. But we didn’t allow the big plays and I’m proud of the kids.”

“We played kind of sloppy,” said Calaveras head coach Jason Weatherby. “A win’s a win, and we’ll take it, but we played flat. Amador played hard, and you have to give them credit.”

Calaveras advances to 7-1 overall and 3-1 in league play. They travel to play Summerville on Friday at 7:00 p.m.