TURLOCK -- Tyler Snodgrass rolled to his right, stood for a second, and threw the football as far as he could downfield.
As he threw, he was clobbered by a defender. The ball sailed through the sky before falling harmlessly to the Joe Debely Stadium turf.
And the Turlock side erupted.
In a game where Turlock High lost its best player early, the Bulldogs defense stood firm in a 7-0 Harvest Bowl victory over crosstown rival Pitman (4-2, 1-1) Friday night at Turlock High School.
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The capacity crowd of over 9,000 -- fans were turned away at the gates before the varsity game kicked off -- saw another in a line of classics through this rivalry's five-year span. And it was the first time that Turlock won.
"We've come close so many times," said Turlock coach Lance Cornell, his shirt drenched from the Gatorade shower his players gave him as the game ended. "This feels so great."
It was an even more improbable win after Bulldogs leading rusher Tharon Gallegos was hurt after being tackled at the Pitman 2-yard line early in the second. He didn't return.
Two plays after Gallegos left, sophomore quarterback Kevin Kramer scored on a 2-yard run, a designed roll-out to the right, for the game's only points.
"To lose the heart of your team at that point, the defense had to come through," Cornell said.
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The Bulldogs got some big special teams performances as well. Derek Woods, the primary rusher after Gallegos went out, pinned the Pride on their own 1 twice on punts.
"Our defense stepped it up," Bulldogs lineman Mason Russell said. "I don't care what the score is; 7-0 or whatever. The main thing is, we won for the first time.
"We made history!"
The Turlock fans celebrated like it was a league championship. They poured onto the field, celebrating with friends and neighbors. Family members took pictures of Turlock players holding the game's annual trophy.
"Pretty amazing," Woods said. "We did something we've never done. That's a huge win for our program."
The victory vaulted the Bulldogs (5-1, 2-1) back into the Central California Conference playoff race as well.
Pitman, meanwhile, got as close as the Turlock 17 late in the fourth quarter, but a fourth-and-1 stop by Turlock ended the Pride's chances.
"Every time we had something going, something happened to stop it," Pitman coach Brandon Harris said. "Turlock was the better team tonight. They deserved it."
Bee staff writer Will DeBoard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2300.