Agostini: Friday night lights shine bright

ragostini@modbee.comSeptember 6, 2013 

Reading time, twominutes:

• The Friday night lights shined like beacons in many valley towns. They illuminated some telling numbers.

• High school football teams in California: 1,077.

• Teams in the Sac-Joaquin Section: 154.

• State finalists each year in Carson: 8.

• Number of finalists from our neck of the woods last season: 2 (Oakdale and state champion Central Catholic).

• Conclusion: If you think Stanislaus District football is not relevant, think again.

• Hard to believe that the early-1980s staff at Grace Davis produced two coaches for whom stadiums are named (Dan Gonsalves at Johansen, Don Lanphear at Gregori).

• Jim Harbaugh's words mean nothing. His actions mean everything: Scott Tolzien, the only quarterback not to take a snap during Game 3 of the preseason, was cut a few days later.

• The NFL will pay $765 million to injured former players. Feels like hush money.

• For each brain-slowed ex-player who won't trudge up to the witness stand to tell his sad story, the NFL feels relieved.

• No longer for sale: NFL tapes celebrating and glamorizing vicious hits.

• Send your thoughts to former Turlock High pitcher Tyler Murphy, who's been hospitalized since he suffered serious leg and hand injuries in a boating accident early this month.

• Only a few months ago, Murphy tossed a no-hitter vs. rival Pitman to vault the Bulldogs into the section final.

• Behind that leaky line, Terrelle Pryor is the Raiders' only chance.

• Nice gesture by Cal to wear the No. 42 sticker honoring the late Chuck Muncie. Great running back.

• Let's just assume Sonny Dykes' Cal debut against No. 22 Northwestern will not resemble Jeff Tedford's first game in 2002 (70-22 over Baylor).

• About USC's 30-13 win over Hawaii: For those wagering a dime or two on the game, you screamed — one way or the other — when Hawaii scored with 30 seconds left.

• Why the furrowed brow of Modesto Junior College coach Sam Young? Three Valley Conference opponents, plus non-league foe Butte, are ranked in the state top 10.

• Seeking a second opinion: Did South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney, a Heisman Trophy candidate, look out of shape? During the season opener?

• The Dodgers' Yasiel Puig was benched this week. Guess Don Mattingly grew weary of the daily agenda: Not always on time, spectacular catch, horrific base running, clutch home run, show-up-your-opponent behavior, scary skill, dugout tantrums, etc.

• Operative question: Will Puig's act inspire his team in the playoffs?

• Football will be a handy smokescreen for the Giants — fewer people watching those 1-run-on-9-hit games.

• Take your pick on the Most Valuable Ex-Modesto Christian Star on Thursday: Fresno State's Isaiah Burse (13 catches, 118 yards) or Indiana's Nate Sudfeld (219 passing yards, 4 touchdowns).

• Strange, considering the stats: Sudfeld did not start.

• Fresno State's 52-51 win over Rutgers ended at 12:02 a.m. Friday. And I thought Midnight Madness was in October.

• Had to admire Rutgers coach Kyle Flood for kissing off the tying extra-point kick: We've been out here 4½ hours, neither team can stop the other and my team's body clocks are ticking into the wee small hours. The game ends. Now.

• A radio pundit had it right: If Allen Iverson played college football, he would be Johnny Manziel.

• Every teenager who charged onto the field Friday night received a special gift — a memory for life.

Bee staff writer Ron Agostini can be reached at ragostini@modbee.com or (209) 578-2302. Follow Ron via Twitter, @modbeesports.

Ron Agostini

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