All that talk about Pitman's strength of schedule was silenced on Friday evening.
So, too, was Golden Valley's homecoming crowd.
Quarterback A.J. Derr had nearly 200 yards of total offense by halftime, pulling all the right strings in Pitman's misdirection offense for a 34-3 victory over Golden Valley at Don Odishoo Field.
Golden Valley entered the Central California Conference opener one of the surprise teams in the Central Valley, rocketing out to a 4-1 start under first-year head coach Jake Messina.
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On Friday, in what Messina billed as his program's first real test, Golden Valley looked like the team of yesteryear; the one that gave up a touchdown on every possession en route to a 76-45 loss.
"Same feeling," Messina said. "Same feeling, just a different side of the ball."
For at least one night, Pitman muzzled its own critics, those who called its victories hollow. Pitman's previous four wins had come against teams with a combined record of 1-18.
"When you schedule, sometimes there's only so many teams available," Pitman head coach Brandon Harris said.
"Shoot, that was a good team over there, a team that has played some good competition. We knew it was going to be tough. We knew they'd be well-coached. We expected it to be a dogfight. It felt like a battle out there."
It didn't look the part.
Quinton Breshears kicked two field goals and Pitman's defense limited Golden Valley's offense to less than 100 yards in the first half, winning for the sixth tiem in seven meetings between the two teams.
Pitman seized control of this one early, scoring on all three of its second quarter possessions to take a 20-3 lead in the locker room.
"We showed some glimpses of doing really good things," Harris said. "We executed really well in that quarter."
Derr (9 of 13, 147 yards, rushing TD) was the trigger man, spreading the ball among the offenses many weapons.
He was 5 of 7 in the second quarter, with all five passes going for a first down or touchdown.
The 5-foot-11 senior capped a 10-play drive with a 17-yard strike to Dominick Walker over the middle to make it 10-3 early in the second. Walker waltzed into the end zone, as Golden Valley's secondary bit hard on a play-action fake.
Later, Derr's 35-yard toss to wide receiver David Gianesin set up a 10-yard scoring run by Alex Rodriguez to make it 17-3. Breshears tacked on a 24-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, setting the rout in motion.
Golden Valley was out of synch throughout, generating 98 yards of offense in a frustrating first half. The bulk of those yards came on one play -- a 64-yard burst by running back Tyler Arnsberg.
The lone bright spot: Memo Ramirez's 24-yard field goal on the opening possession.
"I'm optimistic about our guys," Messina said. "We're taking steps, but at the end of the day, we're not the kind of program who can stand in with a team like that. Not right now."