High School Football

Turlock defense stifles high-powered Tracy in ‘Battle for The Bone’

The Tracy High football team came into Friday night’s game against Turlock averaging 68.5 points a game.

But Tracy had never faced a defense like Turlock’s.

Turlock’s defensive front seven harassed and hurried Tracy quarterback Logan Fife all night, and the opportunistic Turlock offense did enough damage to beat Tracy 28-17 at Joe Debely Stadium in the annual Bulldogs “Battle for The Bone.”

If there’s one word to describe Turlock’s defense, Turlock quarterback Jonah Kosakiewicz says it’s this: Nasty.

“That’s how I describe them, nasty — all 11 dudes are hitting the ball at one time,” Kosakiewicz said. “When the ‘Dogs come out and play defense like that, it’s hard for any other team to run the score up on us and that’s what we showed tonight.”

Tracy had been able to run up the score in its first two games this season, scoring 75 points in a win over Kimball and 62 in beating Buhach Colony.

There was no such luck against Turlock (2-1), which opened the season with a loss to Freedom in Oakley, but has responded with two impressive victories.

Turlock was determined to defeat Tracy in the “Battle for The Bone,” especially after losing twice to Tracy last season — once in the regular season and once in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.

Turlock features a 3-4 defense, with a set of imposing linebackers spearheaded by San Diego State-commit Garret Fountain, who had two sacks, an interception and a key fumble recovery late in the game.

“I think we could be a really good defense,” Fountain said. “Really explosive. We’re all fast to the ball, all 11 guys hustle to the ball, and we play pretty good together.”

Turlock’s defensive game plan Friday night was simple: Stop the Tracy ground attack and make Fife have to air it out.

Turlock flew to the ball when Tracy tried to establish the run game early in the game, allowing its fast and physical front seven to get after the quarterback.

Fife never had time to relax in the pocket, forcing him to throw on the run or try to scramble away. He was sacked six times, four coming in the first half.

Offensively, Turlock got a big night on the ground from running backs Lucas Curtis (57 yards, two TDs) and Anthony Frias (12 carries, 118 yards).

Kosakiewicz was also efficient, running for one touchdown and throwing a 51-yard TD pass to Cameran Sherwood, which put Turlock up 14-0.

The stars of the night, though, were the members of that “nasty” Turlock defense, which will be hard to handle once Central California Athletic League play begins in late September.

“The guys get after it,” Turlock coach James Peterson said. “They’re all a bunch of dirty dogs.

“We got the job done tonight, we got the victory and I’m very happy about that.”

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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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