High School Football

Lopez’s look back, look ahead: Yes, it’s only Week 1, but there were big statements

Anderson Grover, 26, takes a big step into the end zone for a touchdown against East Union. Downey High took on East Union Friday Aug. 17, 2018.
Anderson Grover, 26, takes a big step into the end zone for a touchdown against East Union. Downey High took on East Union Friday Aug. 17, 2018. mbicek@modbee.com

Big Valley Christian junior Javyn Drobnick ran and ran and ran in the Lions’ 47-20 over Harker on Friday as the 5-foot-7 running back tied his school record with 372 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

“He was special last night,” Lions coach Brian Berkefeld said Saturday morning. “He was making guys miss. Every time he got the ball, he was going 20 or 30 yards. He just had a great game and he is a special kid.”

Drobnick ran for 1,608 yards in only nine games as a sophomore last year and missed two games, including the final game of the season, due to an injury. He might be one of the smallest kids on the team, but Berkefeld said he is one of the strongest and is always in the weight room.

As a team, the Lions had close to 500 yards on the ground and one group dominated all night long.

“The offensive line played amazing,” Berkefeld said. “The holes were there. The receivers were blocking downfield. It was a great win for our culture.”

Saturday rewind

This year, we are launching a Saturday morning podcast with myself and Brian Clark. We will be discussing all of the top moments from Friday and look ahead to the next week’s game. We’ll also update listeners with information I get from talking to coaches on Saturday morning. On the first installment, we talked about my first game in the Central Valley as well as discussing Central Catholic, Downey, Enochs, and Oakdale’s impressive wins and more.

Oakdale beat Sonora 49-0 behind a stout defensive effort on Friday Night at Oakdale High School.

Oakdale shows its power

Replacing 22 starters from a team that reached a Sac-Joaquin Section title is never easy but the Mustangs looked superb in their 49-0 win over Sonora on Friday.

“When you put that Oakdale jersey on, it comes with a lot of pride and a lot of pressure,” Mustangs coach Trent Merzon said. “They were really worried that they were going to be the team that let people down. They didn’t know how good we could be. You see some happy seniors floating around.”

The support from the Mustangs faithful is second to none but senior Caleb Kuppens said people who didn’t think they were going to be good are now “going to hop on the bandwagon.”

Enochs routs rival Beyer

For the Enochs Eagles, Friday’s 34-7 win over Beyer is a statement win. It was their first win over Beyer since 2014.

“Everyone did a great job,” Eagles coach James Stacy said Saturday. “The intensity was up. We are not a pick to win league but we showed everyone what we could do.”

Senior Xavier Vela had a couple of big runs on offense as well as an interception return for a touchdown. Senior linebacker Spencer Alanis also had an interceptions.

“We haven’t had the trophy (Sylvan Bowl) in a while and the guys were super pumped up all week long,” Stacy said. “They came out and were fired up.”

Turnovers cost the Folsom Bulldogs in their season opener against De La Salle, suffering a 14-0 loss Friday night, Aug. 18, 2018.

Central gears up for De La Salle

After beating Clovis West 21-0 on Friday, the Raiders attention shifts to nationally ranked De La Salle, which beat Folsom 14-0 in a matchup of two of the top teams in the state. De La Salle hasn’t lost to a team in Northern California since 1992.

“We are excited,” Central Catholic coach Roger Canepa said. “It’s going to be a fun week.”

For those heading up to Concord to watch, you can go to the De La Salle website to find out about ticket info.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

Downey High coach Jeremy Plaa, quarterback Beau Green and wide receiver Anderson Grover discuss the Knights' 39-19 victory over East Union on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, in Modesto, California.

Plaa still has a decision to make

Downey coach Jeremy Plaa said after his team’s 39-19 victory over East Union that he would look at the film Saturday to try to figure out who might be his permanent starting quarterback. Junior Bryce Gouker and freshman Beau Green are vying for the job. Both quarterbacks looked good on Friday night, according to The Bee’s Brian Clark, who covered the game. Both were extremely sharp in the first half. Green through a pick during garbage time, trying to fit one in while on the run.

Downey quarterbacks Bryce Gouker and Beau Green combined to throw five touchdown passes as Downey High rolled to a 39-19 season-opening victory over East Union of Manteca on Friday, Aug. 17., 2018.

Plaa, known for using the onside kick on nearly every kickoff, did not onside kick once during the game. A new trend? Maybe not. His regular kicker is out, and they are working on training somebody else for kickoffs.

Meanwhile, East Union moved the ball easily on Downey. But, without their kicker, Jorge Ramirez, who is injured, the Lancers couldn’t come away with any points and gave up the ball on downs four times in Downey territory. On two of those trips, they had touchdowns called back. “When you come away with nothing, it deflates you every time,” EU coach Willie Herrera said Saturday. “After watching the film, I don’t feel as bad because everything is fixable.

News and Notes

Hughson Huskies junior quarterback Steven Morris had 335 total yards and two touchdowns in the Huskies’ 40-39 win over Stagg. It was the first win for new head coach Shaun King ... Both coaches in the Pitman-Napa game where Davis High graduates who played for legendary coach Dan Lanphear. Pitman’s Tom Tyler got the better of Napa’s Tom Petithomme as Pitman won 55-7. Lanphear attended the game, according to Tyler. ... Don’t see a game we covered? You can see them all on Friday night/Saturday morning with our complete online coverage at modbee.com.

Thanks for your strong interest in local journalism. We rely on readers like you more than ever before, and we currently offer free access to five stories a month. We hope you see value in supporting us further with a digital subscription to help ensure we can provide strong local journalism for many years to come.

Pitman High football coach Tom Tyler, running back Peyton Bass and quarterback Treyton Fair discuss the 55-7 victory over Napa on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018.

The Pitman High football team rolled past Napa 55-7 at Joe Debely Stadium on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018.

Related stories from Modesto Bee