High School Football

Julian A. Lopez: TVL had center stage. Next Friday, the CCAL takes its turn

Stanislaus Football Week 9 | Photography from Modesto area

Bee photographers capture images of high school football during week 9. Waterford v. Orestimba and Hilmar v. Modesto Christian.
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Bee photographers capture images of high school football during week 9. Waterford v. Orestimba and Hilmar v. Modesto Christian.

The Trans-Valley League took center stage on Friday, what with Modesto Christian and Ripon putting their undefeated seasons on the line and on the road.

Only MC came away unscathed.

Next Friday, the Central California Athletic League provides the intriguing matchups.

Pitman (8-0, 3-0) travels to Downey (5-3, 2-1) while Turlock (5-3, 3-0) hosts Gregori (4-4, 1-2). The Pride are No. 3 in the Bee’s large-school rankings while the Bulldogs are No. 4.

At Downey, the Knights still have a chance to win the league title and on a two-game winning streak, this could be the biggest game in the area when they welcome the undefeated Pride. Pitman was 5-0 heading into CCAL play but those five wins were against teams that have struggled and the question was just how good were the Pride?

Well, after three league wins, all by double-digits, the answer is ... really good. Downey will be the toughest team they have played all season.

This hasn’t been the ideal year for coach Jason McCoy and his Gregori Jaguars but a win at Turlock could give the team a lot of confidence. It’s always a great atmosphere at Joe Debely Stadium and the Bulldogs have given their fans a lot to cheer about during their three-game winning streak. It will also be Senior Night for the Bulldogs.

Modesto plays at Enochs on Thursday in the other CCAL game and both teams are looking for their first league win.

How about those Coyotes of Denair

The last time Denair (7-1, 4-1) won at least seven games was in 2006 when they lost to Lindhurst in the Sac-Joaquin Section Div. VI Championship.

They went 8-4 that season and the Coyotes should get their eighth win of the season next week against Mariposa County.

If you take out their lone loss of the season (35-7 at Ripon Christian), the Coyotes are averaging over 43 points per game.

Before the season, Orestimba, Ripon Christian, and Waterford looked like the top teams in the Southern League. However, and quietly, the Coyotes are in second place in the Southern League and ranked No. 2 in the Bee’s small-school rankings.

Modesto Christian Head Coach Mike Parsons talks after the Crusaders beat Hilmar, 24-21 on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018

Win for Coach Mack

This season has been special for Modesto Christian and the Crusaders are playing with heavy hearts in honor of former assistant coach Jeff Martin, who passed away on March 10.

“You hear us say “For Mack” all the time,” Modesto Christian coach Mike Parsons said. “That’s a big motivator as well. He would be very proud of us.”

In the postgame huddle after their win over Hilmar, several of the Modesto Christian players chanted “Coach Mack” and said “this one is for him”.

Modesto Christian beat Hilmar 24-21 on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018

Watch highlights from Escalon's 38-7 win over Ripon on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018.

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