The Turlock High Bulldogs fell to the Merced Bears 48-12 Friday night, in a contest that seemed completely out of character with how the Bulldogs have played all season.
“We just didn’t arrive when it was game time and we need to do a better job. Things just snowballed out of control and it felt like 'The Twilight Zone,'” Turlock High Head Coach James Peterson said.
The Bulldogs (4-2, 0-1 CCC) had no answer for the Bears' (4-2, 1-0 CCC) athletic passing attack and relentless ground game. By halftime the game was effectively over, as Turlock trailed 34-6.
Bulldogs senior running back Jevan Hogan was the team’s only consistent bright spot. He rushed for 125 yards on 11 carries and caught 4 passes for 38 yards. He scored the Bulldogs' first touchdown of the game with just under nine minutes left in the second quarter on a 99-yard rushing score off the left tackle. The play followed a Bulldog interception at their own one-yard line to stifle a Merced drive. Hogan later left the game halfway through the third quarter. It is unknown at this time if he will play next week.
Senior quarterback Sean Downs added the Bulldogs' only other score with a 28-yard rush on a scramble with 5:02 left in the third quarter.
Prior to the blow-out loss, Peterson described the showdown as a “huge game,” indicating that the game could decide who wins the Central California Conference, a league he called the best in the Valley.
“There are no let-downs or slouches in this league,” he said.
Unfortunately Turlock meets another tough team next week, as they travel again to Merced to play the Golden Valley Cougars at 7 p.m. Friday, at Veterans Stadium.
This year three of the Bulldogs’ wins have come by a combined 5 points. Peterson feels that if the team gets into a close game, unlike the “Twilight Zone” game against the Bears, his team responds effectively enough to win. Expect Turlock to bounce back next week and be competitive against the Cougars.