HILMAR -- In an attempt to stay undefeated, Hilmar High engaged Central Catholic in a game of Truth or Dare.
The Yellowjackets dared the Raiders to throw, but in the end the truth was that Hilmar couldn't stop the pass.
Central Catholic junior Dylan Swartz completed 16 of 23 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns, while the Yellowjackets sealed their first loss of the season by committing six turnovers in Central Catholic's 23-7 victory at McSweeney Field.
The victory pushed the Raiders to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the Western Athletic Conference, while the Yellowjackets fell to 6-1 and 1-1.
The final margin of 16 points might indicate some level of domination by the Raiders, but that was hardly the case. Hilmar came close to matching Central Catholic physically, and the Yellowjackets were successful in stopping the Raiders' running game enough to force the pass.
"Hilmar came in undefeated for a reason," Swartz said. "No team starts 6-0 by fluke. We knew they were going to give us a game, but our receivers knew they were going to see single coverage, so that was the challenge for us."
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Swartz took advantage of the single coverage against his tall receivers. James Orth, a 6-foot-3-inch senior, caught eight passes for 143 yards and a touchdown, while David Biscevic, also a 6-3 senior, grabbed seven balls for 92 yards and a score.
"This is why I don't call the plays on offense," said Central Catholic coach Roger Canepa. "I run up and down the sideline yelling for us to run the ball, run the ball, and I turn around and we're throwing the ball. But we have great receivers, and when they stack the box like that you have to throw."
The teams traded first-quarter touchdowns before Central took a 10-7 lead just before halftime on a 34-yard field goal by Sebastian Hernandez. The Raiders extended the margin to 17-7 on its first possession of the second half, when Swartz hit Biscevic from 8 yards out to cap a 75-yard march.
Hilmar never penetrated the red zone in the second half, and saw four of its final five possessions stopped by a turnover. The final one came on the game's last play, when T.J. Belton stepped in front of a pass and returned it 24 yards for a score as time ran out.
Bee staff writer Brian VanderBeek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2300.
Western Athletic Conference
Central Catholic 23, Hilmar 7
Central Catholic 7 3 7 6 -- 23
Hilmar 7 0 0 0 -- 7
CC -- James Orth 8 pass from Dylan Swartz (Sebastian Hernandez kick)
HIL -- Carl Jameson 45 pass from Christian Azevedo (Neil Mitchell kick)
CC -- FG Hernandez 34
CC -- David Biscevic 8 pass from Swartz (Hernandez kick)
CC -- T.J. Belton 24 interception return (kick failed)