It took most of the first quarter for the Kimball football team to find its rhythm on Friday at Don Nicholson Stadium.
Once the Jaguar line started to create gaps, the Kimball offense started to click, enabling sophomore quarterback Nicholas Coronado to execute his passing game and also run for significant yardage in the Jaguars’ 37-7 win over their crosstown rivals from West High.
“I want to be the best out on the field. I think that’s the whole mindset for our team,” said Coronado, who passed for 223 yards, completing 15 of 22 passes, including three touchdown passes.
The downside to Kimball’s performance, he added, was that it took until the second quarter for the Jaguars to build momentum.
“Today we played really sloppy, but we’re capable of more,” Coronado said. “We shouldn’t just be a second-half team. We need to be a first-half team and carry it on throughout the whole game.”
As Kimball (2-1) took a 21-0 lead at the half, the West team (0-3) had trouble sustaining any offensive momentum in the first half, going three-and-out on three of the Wolf Pack’s six first-half possessions.
“Offensively, we weren’t getting many first downs early,” West coach Steven Wichman said. “In fact, in our first two series, we went three-and-out. It’s tough putting our defense right back on the field in the first half, when Kimball was able to gain some momentum.”
The Jaguars scored on their second possession, capping a six-play, 48-yard drive with Coronado’s 18-yard pass to senior tight end Kalao Ballungay. Jose Ahumada kicked the extra point.
Midway through the second quarter, the Jaguars again made a quick drive, this one for 60 yards on seven plays, including a 27-yard run for Coronado, who was the Jaguars’ rushing leader with 82 yards on 12 carries. That put Kimball in position for senior Louie Pacheco’s 5-yard touchdown run.
The Jaguars had a short field for their next possession and covered 40 yards in four plays, including a 21-yard pass from Coronado to senior Jaxen North in the end zone. Coronado also connected with North on the 2-point conversion to make it a 21-0 game at the half.
Kimball opened the second half with a 10-play, 68-yard drive, including a pass from Coronado to Ballungay, who fought his way through West tacklers for a 22-yard gain. Coronado scored the touchdown on a 7-yard run as the line created a huge gap for him.
The Wolf Pack finally sustained a long drive on the next series. West covered 70 yards on 10 plays with senior Amari Henderson leading the way, including the 5-yard touchdown run. Jasmine Cochiaosue made the kick for West.
“The second half, we came out faster and we played our hearts out,” said Henderson, who carried the ball 15 times for 66 of West’s 80 rushing yards. “We just need to keep going out there with momentum, keep putting pressure on the quarterback and start winning games.”
The Wolf Pack totaled 146 offensive yards, including 66 yards on 10 of 18 passes for senior quarterback Alfred Robinson as he connected with six different receivers.
It took Kimball only four plays to score after the kickoff, with Coronado completing a long pass to North for a 64-yard touchdown and Pacheco running in the 2-point conversion.
“The coaches told us in the locker room what we need to do, to put in more effort and I think that worked out for us, to play as a team, and communication,” said North, adding that he focused on putting the effort first and letting the wins follow. “My mindset coming in is just to do this for the team and try to improve from last game.”
Pacheco’s 2-point conversion run put Kimball ahead 35-7.
Midway through the fourth quarter, a long punt by Kimball’s Coronado put the Wolf Pack on its own 9-yard line. West then went three-and-out, and a fumble on the punt attempt caused West to go out of bounds at the back of the end zone, scoring a safety for the Jaguars to make it a 37-7 game.
All told, the Jaguars held the Wolf Pack to 146 offensive yards, mostly in the second half. Ballungay, also a defensive end for the Jaguars, said his team had a good idea of how to contain the Wolf Pack offense from the start.
“Watching film throughout the week, we expected them to pass the ball, because that’s what we saw the last couple weeks,” he said. “We practice our line, getting a push on the O line to get to the quarterback, and that worked out pretty good tonight.”
Kimball coach Mike Kuhnlenz said he saw a strong performance from the offensive line and the Jaguar defense, but he also saw plenty that the Jaguars would need to fix before getting into Valley Oak League play Sept. 20 at Sierra High in Manteca.
“We’re not playing like we should be. We’re very sloppy. Missed assignments, the little things you harp on in practice,” he said. “Come game time, adrenaline is going, they forget. It’s frustrating. I’m glad we won and our boys played hard. We’re not where we need to be.”
The Jaguars won the junior varsity game 48-0, and Kimball’s freshmen lost to visiting Modesto, 15-14, on Thursday.
Millennium 35, California School for the Deaf 32
The Millennium Falcons (1-2) held the lead for the entire game against the Eagles from the California School for the Deaf of Fremont on Friday night at Tracy High.
The Eagles (1-2) proved to be tough opponents, keeping the game close in the first half and then closing in on the Falcons again in the fourth quarter.
Junior quarterback Caden Duke led the Falcon offense on Friday. He passed for 290 yards on 17 of 29 attempts, including four touchdown passes, and he ran the ball for 63 yards on six carries for most of his team’s 120 rushing yards.
Duke ran in the Falcons’ first touchdown from the 5-yard line, and he connected with senior Josh Marlin on a 67-yard pass to put Millennium up 13-6 in the first quarter. Duke completed two touchdown passes in the second quarter, including a 5-yard pass to senior Ian Braten and a 60-yard pass to Marlin, and Braten made his third point-after kick of the night to put Millennium up 27-12 at the half.
The Eagles scored in the third quarter and again early in the fourth to cut Millennium’s lead to 27-26.
Duke passed to Marlin for a 30-yard touchdown in the fourth. Marlin, who totaled eight receptions for 206 yards, also ran in the 2-point conversion to put the Falcons up 35-26. The Eagles scored again in the fourth to make it a 35-32 game in Millennium’s favor at the end.
Turlock 43, Tracy 14
The Bulldogs from Turlock High took control early against the Tracy High Bulldogs on Thursday in Turlock.
Turlock (2-1) held a 12-7 lead at the end of the first quarter and continued to score on Tracy (1-2) through the second and third quarters, holding a 43-7 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Turlock totaled 472 total offensive yards with 325 rushing yards, compared to 223 total offensive yards for Tracy.
Tracy senior quarterback Logan Fife passed for 158 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown pass to senior Trevor Pope in the first quarter and an 11-yard touchdown pass to senior Blake Vollbrecht in the fourth. He connected four times with junior Tommy Chavez for 55 yards, but Turlock also intercepted three of Fife’s passes. Senior Riley Revino gained nearly all of Tracy’s 65 rushing yards as he carried the ball 14 times for 62 yards.
Turlock also won the junior varsity game, 42-14, and the freshman game, 21-14.