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Prep Football: Buhach Colony thunders past Turlock

ATWATER -- Buhach Colony's offensive line had devastated defenses in its first five games, but the Thunder front five was struggling Friday night against Turlock.

The Thunder had become comfortable with a weekly routine that allowed it to pound opponents with its big line and running game.

When that formula failed, BC turned to its next option: Quarterback Nick Datray.

The senior exploited a run-focused defense, passing for a career-high 154 yards and a TD as top-ranked Buhach Colony pulled away from Turlock for a 33-14 win.

It sets up next week's Central California Conference showdown between BC (6-0, 1-0) -- The Bee's No. 1 large school -- and No. 4 Pitman (6-0, 1-0), which routed Golden Valley 56-10 Friday.

"With Turlock playing for the run, it gave us a chance to show we also can throw," said Datray, who was 6 of 8 and tossed a 26-yard TD to tight end Roger Klauser for a 10-0 second-quarter lead. "When defenses watch film, they'll have to prepare for both parts of our offense."

Turlock (4-2, 2-0) forced Datray to step up by silencing BC's running game. Averaging 359 rushing yards a game, BC had just 147 -- a 3.8-yard average on 39 runs.

Datray didn't throw often, but he had an impact when he did. Able to relax behind a line featuring the Cochran brothers -- 6-8, 310-pound Aaron and 6-4, 320-pound Matt -- Datray made five of his six completions good for first downs. That helped BC dominate the tempo, even if the final score seemed close.

"We love to run the ball in our fly offense, but we're going to see more teams focusing on that," said Datray, a 6-3 senior who handled the complicated series of handoffs with ease. "We'll be getting everyone's best shot in league. We got Turlock's tonight and we'll get the best Pitman has to give next."

Turlock trailed 10-6 in the third quarter before BC extended its lead on an 8-yard TD by Stefon Gold, a safety and a 10-yard score by Leon Miles in a 16-point spurt.

When Tyler Dew brought back his first interception of the season 25 yards for a TD with 4:06 to play, all the attention turned to Pitman.

The first half was a battle of defensive lines and they dominated play: The teams combined for just 280 yards in those first two quarters.

Turlock could not handle massive Matt Cochran during his plays at noseguard, nor did it have success attacking Shittu on the edge. Both were recognized earlier in the day -- Shittu was selected to the Army All-Star Game, Cochran selected to the Marines' game.

The Bulldogs had a few significant plays, including two short tosses by Turlock sophomore Sean Downs to set up his 30-yard TD toss to Tyler Cook late in the first half. BC helped with two offsides penalties on that last-minute drive.

Downs was 5 of 17 for 64 yards, and Turlock could not fall back on its running game: It ran 12 plays for minus 5 yards the first 18 minutes of the second half.

BC struggled, too, as linebackers Kyle Hatcher and Dustin McCormick hit running backs before they got to the line. Turlock's linemen occupied BC's offensive line, giving its linebackers the freedom to roam the field.

Gold and Miles combined for 23 carries and 90 yards, and their longest run of the night was a mere 10 yards.