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Hilmar runs away from Modesto Christian

SALIDA -- Andrew Olson knew which quarterback in this Hilmar-Modesto Christian game was getting the publicity and which was trying to make the best of his senior year.

And it wasn't him getting the ink.

So after Olson's Yellowjackets pummeled Crusaders' and Arizona-bound quarterback Nate Sudfeld 59-20 Friday night, Olson was asked if the Trans-Valley League showdown was at least a little personal -- if he wanted to put up numbers comparable to that of his opposite number.

His eyes and smile kind of gave away the real answer, but Olson said the right thing after pausing to select the correct words.

"Me and Sudfeld are really good friends and we've been talking about this game since summer because we were at a lot of the same camps," Olson said. "We knew it was going to be a battle.

"He's going to Arizona and I broke my arm last year so I have something to prove. I just tried to come out and get my guys fired up."

Hilmar played a perfect first half on offense, scoring on all eight of its possessions. The Yellowjackets got seven touchdowns, seven extra points by talented kicker Kurtis Bettencourt and a half-ending 30-yard field goal from Bettencourt to take an astounding 52-14 halftime lead.

This game was supposed to be closer. It was set up as a winner-take-all battle to see who gets a shot at wresting the TVL title away from Escalon at the end of the season.

"We still have two more games before we get to Escalon and our goal is to keep getting better every game," said Hilmar coach Frank Marques. "We got better tonight. Sometimes when you look past a team you end up with a game in which you didn't get any better. You've wasted a week of practice."

The game also was a test of the TVL's new rule that mandates a running clock any time in the second half when one team has a lead of 35 or more points. The rest of the Sac-Joaquin Section had a 35-point running clock rule only for the fourth quarter.

"The running clock is built-in and a rule the TVL put into place," said MC coach Steve Gleason. "You still have to get a stop whether the clock is running or not."

And the Crusaders weren't about to stop Hilmar. Olson completed seven of 10 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns, with his final pass coming at the 5:13 mark of the second quarter.

Sudfeld kept passing the entire game, competing 14 of 34 passes for 252 yards and two scores, and added a 21-yard scoring run late in the third quarter for the game's final tally.

The 35-point rule is built to help keep scores down, but it also allows relief for a team getting physically pounded, which was the case with MC.

"Our kids were physical tonight and they have been all year," Marques said. "That's the kind of football we've been playing."

On four occasions the game was stopped for several minutes as a Crusaders' player needed medical attention on the field. The most serious of the injuries appeared to be suffered by two-way starter Damien Bell-White, who was treated for a possible neck injury after returning the second-half kickoff.

He was removed from the field via stretcher and with a neck brace, but Gleason said Bell-White never lost consciousness or feeling in his extremities and the trip to the hospital was likely a precautionary move.