SALINAS -- Things didn't look good for the Modesto Junior College football team Saturday night when turnovers helped Hartnell open up an early 20-8 lead on the Pirates.
Things were looking much better for MJC by night's end, however, as the Pirates rattled off 33 unanswered points en route to a 41-20 victory at Salinas High School.
Aaron Fields ran for five touchdowns for Modesto, ranked 10th in the state and No. 7 in Northern California, which improved to 3-0. Marcus Hernandez also ran for a score for the Pirates, who have won 14 straight against Hartnell and haven't lost to the Panthers since 1991.
"There are no easy games on the road, and Hartnell is well coached," Modesto coach Sam Young said. "We had some untimely turnovers early and they took advantage. But we came back strong late in the second quarter.
"I'm really pleased that we kept focused, just kept trying to execute better, and got things rolling a little bit."
Young credited the Pirates' running game, led by Fields and Hernandez, for spearheading his team's turnaround by taking control of the game and giving the defense a chance to catch its breath.
"I don't know the exact total, but we had a lot of yards on the ground. We really controlled the ball on the ground, and that kind of helped the defense regroup against their passing game," said Young.