Turlock High senior wide receiver Cameran Sherwood brought the Harvest Bowl trophy to the Bulldog student section as the clock struck zero and the celebration was on after the Bulldogs shut out Pitman 33-0 at Joe Debely Stadium on Friday night.
For the fifth straight year, Turlock (7-3, 5-0) beat Pitman (9-1, 4-1). This time it gave the Bulldogs the first-ever Central California Athletic League title.
Turlock picked the right time for their most complete game of the season, and it was also their first shutout of the year.
“We have been striving for that (shutout) because they (the defense) work their butts off and they don’t always get credit,” Bulldogs coach James Peterson said. “They all work as a unit.”
Pitman entered Friday having scored more than 30 points in seven of its nine games but they were completely shut down by a strong Bulldogs defense.
“This game was the game we executed to perfection,” Turlock junior linebacker Jayden Jackson said. “All year we wanted to get that goose egg and to finally get it against Pitman, it means the world.”
Led by 8.5 tackles and a tackle for loss by Jackson, the Bulldogs allowed only 157 total yards and held the Pride’s powerful Wing-T running offense to 3.3 yards per carry. Pitman didn’t have a single play in the red zone.
“That’s the great team we want to be,” Jackson said. “Everybody gets to the ball and that’s why we are so dominant.”
With the defense feasting all night, the offense, led by the strong connection of Sherwood and senior quarterback Jonah Kosakiewicz, took advantage of good field position and converted on a couple big third- and fourth-down plays.
With a little over five minutes left in the first quarter and with a third-and-six, Kosakiewicz escaped the pressure and scrambled to his left and connected with Sherwood, who ran down the sideline for 68 yards and the touchdown.
“It was actually a designed play to go the other way and Jonah scrambled out and kept his feet moving and eyes down the field and I was working that way on the field and he made a good throw,” Sherwood said. “The defensive back made a good play on it. I thought he might have picked it off but it landed in my hands and I turned upfield. “
After a Kosakiewicz 12-yard touchdown run put the Bulldogs up 14-0, Peterson rolled the dice and went for it on fourth down.
The gamble paid off.
Kosakiewicz scrambled to the right side this time and fired a throw in between a couple of Pitman defenders and into Sherwood’s hands.
“There are just plays where he knows if stuff goes wrong, he can look down the field and find me and I think that really showed tonight,“ Sherwood said.
Sherwood finished the night with four receptions for 131 yards and two touchdowns.
“They call him ‘Surehands’ Sherwood for a reason,” Peterson said. “He is not the biggest guy or the tallest guy or even the fastest guy but he runs good routes and he secures the football for our quarterback.”
Turlock junior running back Anthony Frias had the other touchdown for the Bulldogs, a 55-yard run with 6:18 left in the game. Senior kicker Christian Gardner made two field goals.