Buhach Colony coach Kevin Swartwood has seen all he needs to see from Kevin Kramer.
The quarterback was a one-man show last year, leading Turlock's offense to 56 points in a shootout Buhach Colony eventually won 79-56.
Kramer ran around, through and right by Swartwood's defense.
"Looking at the season they had last year, they had Kramer and it was always 'The Kramer Show,' " Swartwood said. "As an outsider looking in, it didn't seem like they had a lot as far as a supporting cast."
"But that kid is legit, whether he's running or passing."
Turlock has turned the program around.
After an 0-10 season, Turlock is 5-0 heading into a Central California Conference showdown against Buhach Colony (5-0) tonight at Joe Debely Field.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
It's the start of what promises to be an exciting five week race to crown a CCC champion.
"If you look at all six teams as a whole, winning the CCC is going to be a tough grind," Swartwood said.
Golden Valley and Pitman both enter conference play with 4-1 records, and the two teams square off tonight at Stadium '76.
Merced is 2-3 after a grueling non-conference schedule that included nationally ranked Grant and Clovis West.
"You can't count out Merced," Swartwood said. "They're No. 1 in the league as far as toughest schedule and talent. They're the team, as usual, that you have to knock off if you want to be the champs."
Merced will open conference play with the Santa Fe Bowl against Atwater (1-4), which may have the best defense in the conference.
"You don't want to sleep on anybody in the league," Golden Valley coach Jake Messina said. "Atwater has one of the best defenses in the area. I've worked with most of the guys on their defensive staff. Those guys put in as much time and effort as anybody."
Merced may be without one of his key offensive weapons tonight.
Receiver Nick Zamora suffered a deep thigh bruise against Grant last week. It's the same injury that kept Zamora sidelined all of last year.
With only two wins, the pressure is on Merced to pick up some wins fast if it wants to reach six wins and the likely playoff spot that comes with it.
"It's the first week of league, but the playoffs are starting for us," Merced coach Rob Scheidt said.
While each of the CCC openers are intriguing, all eyes will be on the clash of unbeatens in Turlock.
"The Buhach Colony-Turlock game will tell us who the frontrunner is out of the gate," Scheidt said.
"If we didn't have a game, I'd be in Turlock watching that one," he said. "That game is on par with some of the big games we had while I was at Merced."