TURLOCK -- Each Friday night, the Buhach Colony Thunder carry "The Hammer" onto the football field.
It is the Thunder's totem, its mojo, its we're-the-hammer-and-you're-the-nail thing. Buhach Colony started this tradition three years ago, about the time it started to dominate the Central California Conference.
"It must be the hammer," coach Kevin Swartwood said.
Friday night's 61-27 strafing of Turlock, which clinched no worse than a tie for BC's third straight CCC title, demonstrated the Thunder's sudden and violent power. Before Buhach Colony took eight snaps from scrimmage on offense, it led 48-14.
Jayce Webster's spinning and tackle-breaking 86-yard sprint to the end zone on the opening kickoff ignited the Thunder. Before the first half ended, the Thunder (7-2, 4-0) scored three times on special teams and once on defense.
BC will concede Turlock's 339-299 edge in total offense, some of the season's most misleading numbers. A running clock in the fourth quarter finished proceedings at Joe Debely Stadium.
The Thunder hasn't dropped a CCC game in four years, and in its sights is city adversary Atwater next week.
"We've got a piece of it (the CCC title)," said Aaron Cochran, BC's 6-foot-8 350-pound tackle. "We're not quite there yet."
Cochran, the target of several big-time collegiate powers, said he has not made a final choice. Whomever signs him will throw a large party.
BC trots out a versatile quarterback in Joe Marquez, an armada of running backs and Cochran smoking defenders both at the line of scrimmage and downfield. Stopping them won't be easy for any opponent in the playoffs.
The Thunder struck hard on special teams. Besides Webster's game-opening dash, Leon Miles raced 85 yards for a touchdown on a kickoff return, followed less than a minute later by Webster's 45-yard punt return for a TD.
On the final play of the first quarter, linebacker Steven Strasser collected a fumble on the bounce and charged 70 yards for a touchdown. Even the Buhach Colony teammates couldn't keep up with all the points.
"It was a good feeling to see our special teams taking care of business," Cochran said, "but we (the offense) wanted to play, too."
Turlock (1-3, 4-5), which saluted 24 seniors on Senior Night, put down a few markers for next season. Junior Sean Downs, a fast-improving quarterback, passed for 161 yards and carried 17 times for 106 yards and three touchdowns. He and an 8-1 JV team might turn heads in 2013.
Downs caught BC's attention on a quarterback draw that he turned into a 68-yard touchdown. Swartwood and the Thunder were surprised by the Turlock quarterback's speed.
Any offensive free-for-all, however, will play into Buhach Colony's hands. Marquez's 19-yard touchdown run and his 15-yard pass to Stefon Gold gives him 17 TDs for the season (11 passing, 6 rushing).
Cochran, the left tackle, stepped to his right and took the defense with him while Marquez flipped easily to his left to Miles. Playing off Cochran illustrates BC's punch.
It is why they carry The Hammer.