The #25 ranked Pitman Pride (4-0) rolled over the Oakland Tech Bulldogs (2-2), rushing for a team-total 252 yards with seven rushing touchdowns en route to a homecoming night victory, 62-20.
In addition to homecoming, it was “Teen Wolfley” night, as senior running back Logan Wolfley led the Pride, slashing the Bulldogs with four rushing touchdowns and 154 total yards from scrimmage on a mere 10 touches. Fellow senior running back Drew Lewis scored two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown with 158 total yards from scrimmage on nine touches.
While the Pride’s statistics were impressive, the first-half of the game was far from perfect. In fact, at several key intervals it appeared as if the Oakland Tech Bulldogs could pull out an upset.
After the Pride scored on their first two possessions of the game to snag a quick 14-0 lead, the Pride defense couldn’t find an answer for Bulldogs speedy slot receiver Jahi Davis and wide out Kenyon Jackson. Davis was seemingly unstoppable as he led the Bulldogs down the field for a 14-play scoring drive to close out the first quarter. With a Bulldogs two-point conversion the score was 14-8 Pride to begin the second quarter. The Pride responded with a scoring drive capped off by a 17-yard TD run by Lewis, his first of the contest, but that's when things turned a little bit dicey for Pitman.
On the ensuing kickoff, the speedy Davis returned the ball all the way to the Pride 15 yard line. A few plays later, he caught a 13-yard touchdown pass. A failed two point conversion left the score 21-14 with 9:06 left in the first half.
The Pride responded with another scoring drive thanks to good field position on the kickoff return by Wolfley and a 25-yard rushing touchdown a few plays later, again by Wolfley. At 28-14 it appeared as if perhaps the Pride had a small stammering and had regained their composure, but that proved to not be the case.
Like a team with nothing to lose, the Bulldogs snapped to life on a drive filled with numerous penalties and sloppy Pride play, including pass interference and facemask penalties. They drove all the way down to the Pride 13 yard-line and just when they were on the precipice of scoring the Bulldogs imploded. They committed a delay-of-game penalty and a 12-men on the field penalty before throwing a game altering interception to Pride senior defensive back D’Andre Griffen (his first of two for the game) in the end zone with 53 seconds left before halftime.
Pitman Head Coach Tom Tyler says that it was the vital turning point in the game and he went so far as to admit that, perhaps, his team allowed the Bulldogs to hang around because they were looking ahead to next week’s road match-up against highly touted and 4th ranked Pleasant Grove (Nor Cal Region MaxPreps.com).
“Its my fault. I think the kids knew we were a better team than them (Oakland Tech). We started preparing for Pleasant Grove (4-0) last week. Oakland Tech played an inspired game and we have to play good ball next week. We have to get better every week,” he said. “Next week is a big game and then we have a bye and then we are in league and we have some really good teams in our league.”
Following the interception, the Pride marched from their own 20-yard line to the end zone in just 28 seconds. Pride senior quarterback Wyatt Clapper hit senior Marcus Vasquez for a 35-14 halftime lead.
As if they were a sleeping giant in the first half, the Pride defense roared back to life from their slumber to open the third quarter with back-to-back interceptions by senior defensive back Chance Hagar and Griffen’s second. These interceptions led to 14 more points for the Pride and destroyed any hope for the Bulldogs.
There may be little hope for any team to stop the Pride’s mad, yet calculated rush for the end zone. Their Wing-T offense is powered by an impressive front line who understand their blocking assignments and running backs who take every step in a strategic balance between all-out speed and patience, waiting for the magical moment for the Wing-T to open holes to an expansive field of green grass waiting ahead. Quarterback Wyatt Clapper uses well-disguised hand-offs to confuse linebackers and defensive backs so he can find wide-open receivers downfield. Against Oakland Tech he completed 6 of 8 pass attempts for 178 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs.
In four games this season the Pride have outscored their opponents by an astonishing 236 to 76. They are averaging 51.5 points in the first half, crushing opponents before they even have a chance.
Pleasant Grove will give the Pride all they can chew. They have beaten powerful teams like Burbank, Nevada Union and Inderkum, and in total they have outscored their opponents 137 to 52.