The West High football team claimed its first win in 2 years, a 14-12 victory at Mountain House High, signaling a new start for Wolf Pack football.
For most of Friday’s game neither team could score. The Mountain House Mustangs (0-3) struggled to put up any offensive gains, and while the West offense could move the ball well enough, the Wolf Pack’s progress was either stalled or lost to turnovers or penalties.
“I think we finally turned around and saw what we could do. We saw our potential,” said West senior Dallin Silcox. “We all worked as a team, worked as one unit, one team, one goal. We went for it. We gave it all.”
West Coach Scott Behnam said the win shows a steady building of momentum since the start of the season, when the Wolf Pack (1-2) was trying find players. It’s the Pack’s first win since Sept. 13, 2019, when West beat Ceres 27-0.
“This is a huge, huge, huge win for the program, and honestly, Mountain House is a very good team. They’re well coached. They are athletic. But a win like this is what turns a program around,” Behnam said.
“A win like this is contagious. I’m just excited, but more important, I feel so happy for these kids. I feel so good for these seniors.”
West looked like it could take the advantage at the start. The Wolf Pack’s first drive included a 46-yard run for senior Saloma Talimalie, but West’s drive stalled at the Mountain House 25-yard line.
West still kept possession of the ball longer and covered more ground on the Pack’s first-half drives.
A drive that took up most of the second quarter nearly got West into the end zone, but Mountain House senior Dexter Francis picked off a pass at the goal line from West junior quarterback Chris Inigo and ran it back 55 yards. The Mustangs then went three-and-out, and West didn’t have enough time left in the half to make a drive.
The Mustangs broke the stalemate in the third quarter as sophomore quarterback Amare Brooks passed to Francis on the left side, and Francis ran it in for a 68-yard touchdown. A 2-point conversion run attempt ended up short.
Both sides suffered turnovers in the third quarter. At the end of the third the Wolf Pack had good enough field position to launch a 43-yard, seven-play drive, with Talimalie taking Inigo’s short pass up the middle in for a 28-yard touchdown, and senior Jaron Chavarria made the point-after kick to put West ahead 7-6.
“It was a lot of missed connections in the beginning and it was tough to bounce back from it,” Inigo said. “I just had to sling it to him. I had faith in him. I knew he was going to catch it. I just had to get that connection back again.”
West had been running steady ground game for most of the night, covering 238 yards rushing with senior Kyler Hickman covering 107 yards on 23 carries and Silcox running the ball 22 times for 81 yards. Inigo complete four passes for 61 yards, mostly in the second half. Talimalie said that the Pack’s first touchdown put a spark in his team.
“It made us push more to win the game and motivated us to push through the second half and take a W,” he said. “We lost a lot of times, but you never stop when you lose. You always get back up and get your W. If you work hard you will receive success.”
West recovered a short kickoff and had 36 yards to cover, which it did in four plays, including a 24-yard pass from Inigo to junior Elijah May, and Silcox ran the ball to the left side for another touchdown.
“My line, Caleb Fernando, Jaron Chavarria. They blocked and I got outside of them,” Silcox said. Chavarria’s kick put West up 14-6.
The Mustangs came back when junior Orlando Syph-Timmons returned a kickoff back to the West 18-yard line, and two plays later Brooks ran the ball to the right for a 20-yard touchdown. Brooks’ 2-point conversion pass was incomplete, and the Wolf Pack preserved a close 14-12 lead.
West was able to use up most of the fourth-quarter clock on the Pack’s next possession, but got only as far as the Mustangs’ 38-yard line. The Mustangs got as close as the West 21-yard line in the final minute when West sophomore Elliot Scheidtmann picked off a Brooks pass. With just 45 seconds left in the game West was able to take a knee and run out to clock to affirm the win.
Players said the win shifts the momentum for the Wolf Pack team.
“This is changing the culture at West High one game at a time,” Inigo said. “A lot of people don’t expect us to do what we’re doing right now and it feels special.”
Mountain House Coach Jabari Carr said he expects his players to re-evaluate what they expect to get out of the season in light of the team’s third loss.
It’s the second consecutive week that the Mustangs have scored first and ended up losing by 2 points. Mountain House covered 211 yards of offense, nearly all of it in the second half, including 58 yards rushing. Brooks completed eight of 22 passes for 153 yards with two interceptions, and also covered 31 yards on seven runs.
“First and foremost, hats off to West. They came to play and they wanted it more than us tonight,” Carr said. “I know they had some challenges at the beginning of the season and didn’t have a lot of kids out there, but they deserved this tonight.”
“We have to care, and that’s from the bottom up and the top down, whatever you want to call it. We have to prepare better as a staff. We have to play better as a team. We just have to want it more,” Carr said. “We should be tired of losing close games, especially ones in the fourth quarter.”
“We picked it up a little bit, but we need all hands on deck. We had a few guys stepping up and a few that are kind of coasting a little bit. The important thing is that we’ve got to get everybody on the same page, and we’re not there right now.”
Mountain House won the junior varsity game 8-6.
Kimball 54, Escalon 14
The Kimball Jaguars (3-0) started strong for a 26-14 halftime lead and then dominated the second half for a 54-14 win on Friday at Escalon High (3-1).
Kimball senior quarterback Nicholas Coronado completed 33 of 41 passes for 516 yards. His total of 1,222 yards over three games establishes Coronado as the Sac-Joaquin Section’s passing leader.
His night included five touchdown passes, two of them, including a 50-yard play, to senior Willie Clifton as he caught 10 passes for 188 yards. Senior Mason Rivera also caught two touchdown passes, including one for 45 yards, and totaled eight receptions for 140 yards.
Junior Sebastian Tate also had a touchdown reception, and led Kimball’s 167-yard rushing game, carrying the ball 20 times for 113 yards, including a touchdown run.
Kimball also scored two defensive touchdowns. Senior Lorenzo DePerio grabbed an interception and scored on a 30-yard return, and junior Travis Marieiro scored on an interception and 60-yard return. Mariero also grabbed an interception to set up a fourth-quarter touchdown, and Clifton and senior Dylan Anderson also had interceptions.
Tracy 48, Pacheco 0
The Bulldogs controlled the game on offense and defense as they traveled to Pacheco High in Los Banos on Friday for a 48-0 win.
The Bulldogs covered 316 yards of offense while limiting Pacheco to just 29 yards of offense. Tracy junior Kurtis Maynor made two touchdown receptions, one on a pass from senior Drew Frederick and another on a pass from junior Cameron Ross.
The Bulldogs ran the ball for 253 yards, with senior Austin Ho-Sy covering 73 yards on 12 carries, including a touchdown run. Junior Mason Meyers ran the ball four times for 72 yards, including a 41-yard run during Tracy’s first touchdown drive of the second half.
Ross ran the ball four times for 34 yards, including a touchdown run, and seniors Cody Lammerts and Kyle Wright also ran in touchdowns. Senior Dwayne Thomas scored on an interception and return, and Wright made six of seven point-after kicks.
Woodland Christian 39, Millennium 0
The Millennium football team (2-2) fell to Woodland Christian High (2-0) in Woodland on Friday, with the Falcons taking a 39-0 loss.
The Falcons totaled 91 yards, including 79 yards rushing with senior Nate Washington running the ball nine times for 35 yards. Junior Ethan Dargin covered 17 yards on seven carries, sophomore Jae-Shaun Phillips covered 11 yards on four carries and senior Kyle Fisher ran the ball once for 10 yards.
Defensively, senior Antoine Rivers made 10 tackles, freshman Julian Wells had an interception and senior Kimani Thomas recovered a fumble.
Foresthill 52, Delta Charter 6
The Delta Charter Dragons lost their home game on Saturday, 52-6, to the Foresthill Wildfires.