High School Football

Pitman impressive in rolling past Napa in season opener

Considering his team’s business-like approach prior to Friday night’s season opener, Pitman High football coach Tom Tyler was a little surprised by his team’s sloppy start against Napa.

But after some penalties and a fumble early in the first quarter, the Pride had no problem taking care of business the rest of the way.

Peyton Bass and Joseph Vasquez each scored two touchdowns and the Pitman defense stifled Napa’s run-and-shoot offense in a 55-7 victory.

The impressive effort got Pitman off to a good start after a tough 5-5 season last year, and the Pride stamped themselves a serious contender in the new Central California Athletic League.

What impressed Tyler so much was his team’s attitude heading into the opener. The team has been working hard in the offseason, and it showed in the locker room while the JV team was playing Napa.

“Guys were into it, there wasn’t much goofing around in the locker room,” Tyler said. “These guys put a lot of effort into it, so I think they’re real serious about being the best we can be.”

There were many highlights for the Pride, who feature a bevy of playmakers.

Bass, who looks and plays a lot like his brother did while starring for Pitman a few years back, is probably the best of the bunch. Devan Bass is now starring at Modesto Junior College and was watching his younger brother play Friday night.

Peyton Bass opened the scoring with a 36-yard touchdown run and added a 4-yard TD reception from quarterback Treyton Fair in the second quarter.

The Pride also got big plays from Joseph Vasquez (39-yard pick six, 46-yard TD run), Marcus Garza (45 TD run) and Jakob Partida (25-yard TD run).

Caden Speckens converted all seven of his point-after kicks and showed a strong leg on kickoffs.

Napa’s lone highlight was a 45-yard TD run by Isaiah Newton.

The Grizzlies, newly named after giving up the Indians moniker due to state regulations, are coached by Tom Petithomme, a 1990 Davis High graduate who played fullback at Modesto Junior College. It was a rough return to the Central Valley.

Pitman’s defense features a stout front seven that was able to put a lot of pressure on starting Napa quarterback Gunner Schoeps, who was forced into two interceptions and was pulled at halftime.

The Pride will hit the road next Friday to play Lincoln of Stockton. They’ll be looking to continue that business-like attitude that helped them roll past Napa.

“(Going) 5-5 is not good enough for Pitman,” Fair said. “(Last season) got in our minds that we need to do better and we need to play to Pitman’s standards, and I think that’s what we did tonight.”

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Jim Silva has been involved in covering local sports and news for The Modesto Bee since 1996. He graduated with a degree in journalism from San Jose State.
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