The Pitman High School football team broke out its bright green Fighting Irish uniforms for Friday night’s game against Buhach Colony.
There was no luck of the Irish needed on this night.
The Pride looked sharp in the uniforms, but its performance was even sharper in a commanding 47-7 victory over its Central California Conference opponent at Joe Debely Stadium.
Pitman coach Tom Tyler agreed it was his team’s most complete effort of the season, as the Pride dominated in all three phases.
“We got better tonight,” Tyler told his team after the impressive win.
100 Friday’s win was the 100th victory in Pitman football history
It was a historic, albeit rainy, night. Pitman earned its 100th win in school history and is 7-0 for the first time.
“I’m really proud of these guys tonight,” Tyler said. “We didn’t get distracted. We didn’t have a letdown. We played real hard, and I think Buhach is a pretty good football team and we played them pretty well.”
Pitman’s offensive line pushed around Buhach Colony’s defense, allowing the Pride to run for six touchdowns, including three by standout running back Devan Bass.
Chris Martinez, the Pride’s 6-foot-4, 255-pound left tackle, wasn’t sure why the Pride broke out the Notre Dame-like jerseys for the first time this season. But he wasn’t complaining.
“We like these jerseys; look good, play good, I guess,” Martinez said.
That might be an understatement. It had been three weeks since the Pride, tied with Turlock atop the CCC standings at 3-0, edged Merced in a last-second thriller. Pitman had a bye the following week, then cruised past struggling Atwater 55-7 on Oct. 7.
Tyler said he was concerned about how his team might come out against the Thunder (4-4, 2-2 CCC), but his worries were unwarranted.
“I’m always concerned,” Tyler said. “I’ve been coaching a long time, and I’ve seen funky things happen. I thought we played well last week, but we couldn’t tell because Atwater is having their problems. But I thought we played really well tonight.”
The Pride played clean in all phases, with a productive offense, solid special teams and outright dominant defense. Pitman forced Buhach Colony to punt four times, had one interception, recovered a fumble and recorded a safety.
The Thunder’s only highlight was a 78-yard touchdown run by senior running back Pardeep Dhillon.
If there was a turning point, it came minutes after Dhillon’s TD.
Pitman drove into Thunder territory but was forced to punt. However, the Pride pinned the punt at the 1-yard line, and on the next play, Pitman’s Alex Baker made a tackle in the end zone for a safety.
On the ensuing drive, the Pride drove to the Thunder 21, when Bass darted in for the touchdown. The Pride was up 26-7.
Pitman, The Bee’s top-ranked large-school team, uses a stable of running backs – including Matt Parker, A.J. Encalade and Brandon Pacheco – to grind out yardage. But it’s Bass’ big-play ability that makes Pitman so dangerous. Bass had runs of 41, 22 and 21 yards and took a short pass for a 40-yard gain.
Pride senior quarterback Jacob Perez was efficient throwing and running.
Martinez, who has committed to playing his college ball at Nevada, said his team isn’t looking ahead but is just focused on getting better.
“We just need to go hard at practice, practice how we play,” Martinez said. “Practice is what decides what happens on Friday.”
Pitman plays at El Capitan on Friday. Buhach Colony plays Merced.