The Beyer High football team was tired of losing.
After dropping three straight games, including an embarrassing 42-6 defeat to Downey in its Modesto Metro Conference opener, Beyer was fed up.
So the Patriots put in a good week of practice, handed the ball off to Jay Green on Friday night and watched him run wild. The result was a 28-14 victory over Gregori at Don Lanphear Field.
“We decided we wanted to win,” Beyer quarterback Nick Trujillo said.
So the Patriots (2-4, 1-2 MMC) did what made sense: Give the ball to the school’s all-time leading rusher.
Backed by better blocking from his offensive line, the standout senior rushed 31 times for 239 yards and three touchdowns.
“He’s a workhorse for us,” Trujillo said.
And he was more than Gregori could handle.
“The win feels good, the team needed it,” Green said. “We really needed this win tonight. We finally clicked, our offensive line put up some blocks and our defense made some stops.”
It gets us a full head of steam for next week and we’re going into next week feeling confident.
Beyer’s Jay Green
Beyer head coach Doug Severe said his team’s schedule wasn’t ideal, with three straight games against teams that made the playoffs the previous season. But he was proud of the way his team responded after the loss to Downey in the MMC opener a week earlier.
“We had a tough three weeks,” Severe said. “We didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot like we had been. We made some mistakes but we were able to overcome them.
“The kids have responded.”
Beyer scored touchdowns on three of its four possessions in the first half – two touchdown runs by Green and a 12-yard bootleg by Trujillo – and led 21-0 at halftime.
Gregori’s offense never got going until the first drive of the second half, when running back Demetrius Vinson discovered some open holes. Vinson’s seven-yard touchdown run gave the Jaguars (3-2, 0-1) and the home crowd some energy.
But that was quickly taken away by Beyer.
On the first play of the ensuing drive, Green took a handoff, broke through the Gregori defense and sprinted down the right sideline for a 69-yard touchdown. Beyer led 28-7.
Vinson scored again in the third quarter, this time on a one-yard plunge, but the Jaguars couldn’t get anything going after that.
Down 28-14 with less than 3 minutes left and deep in Beyer territory, Gregori quarterback Cam Calton was sacked on fourth down and Beyer closed out the all-important victory.
Vinson finished with 88 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. He said the team’s bye week, after a heartbreaking loss to East Union on Sept. 18, may have proved costly in the first half against Beyer.
“Absolutely,” Vinson said. “We fell asleep. We had practiced well all week. We were just flat.”
The victory put Beyer back in the hunt in the Modesto Metro Conference. The Patriots face Enochs (2-0) next week. Gregori, the coaches’ pick to win the MMC, now faces an uphill battle with games against Modesto (2-0) and Downey (1-1) still on the schedule.
3 Beyer’s Jay Green has now passed 1,000 rushing yards for the third straight season
Green gave credit to his young offensive line and the Patriots’ defense. Trujillo also had an efficient game, going 8-for-9 for 136 yards, including a big 54-yard pass on third-and-long in the fourth quarter.
“We just wanted him to build some confidence,” Severe said of Trujillo. “He was able to step up and make some throws.”
Green, meanwhile, said he wasn’t worried about carrying his team after the 1-4 start. There was no pressure.
“It’s a game,” Green said. “It’s not something to be too serious about. It’s about having fun.”
Of course, it’s more fun to win.
“Winning is fun,” Green said, smiling.