What a difference a week makes.
Last week, Pitman struggled in all phases of the game and were shut out 33-0 by Turlock.
On Thursday, the Pride (10-1) looked like the team that won their first nine games of the season as they beat Davis 40-21 in the first round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I playoffs at Joe Debely Stadium.
The 10 wins are the most by Pitman since 2011.
“It was a tough week and a tough turnaround (to play on Thursday instead of Friday),” Pitman coavh Tom Tyler said. “We were really motivated to win 10 games. I was really pleased with the way the kids responded.”
Maybe it was early but the Pride’s first drive of the game was their most important one. After a tough loss last week, Pitman could have come out a little flat but they did the opposite.
The energy was back on the sidelines and the Pride scored on a 8-yard touchdown by senior running back Payton Bass to take a 7-0 lead with 8:30 left in the first quarter.
“(Importance of first drive), especially when we came out and laid an egg last week, it was nice to move the ball right away and get in the end zone and finish the drive,” Tyler said.
Bass had 38 rushing yards on the first drive.
“Last week we had a really tough break,” Bass said. “Coach told us to keep our heads up. We had to work hard in the weight room and on the field. We showed the result on the field today.”
With the game already tied at 7 after a 11-yard touchdown reception by Blue Devils junior Payne Barksdale, senior running back Jakob Partida scored on a 1-yard run up the middle with 1:09 left in the first to give Pitman a 14-7 lead.
They wouldn’t give up the lead the rest of the night.
They also welcomed back a key playmaker.
Senior wide receiver Denzel Steckwren had missed the last two games with a collarbone injury entering Friday and the Pride missed his big play ability.
Steckwren showed off his speed with a 76-yard touchdown reception on a play-action pass from senior quarterback Treyton Fair with a little over six minutes left until halftime.
Fair faked the handoff and saw Steckwren down the left sideline and connected with his 6-foot receiver who didn’t have a single defender around him and easily glided into the end zone.
“He just got cleared recently,” Tyler said. “It was nice to have him. It makes things a little tougher on the defense to have a kid like that that can take the top of the defense.”
Bass and Partida both had rushing touchdowns in the second half with the Pride controlling the time of possession. Bass finished with 13 carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns while Partida had 17 for 72 and two scores.
Tyler said he was “hoping” they would shut out the Blue Devils (6-5) in the second half but Davis scored midway through the fourth quarter on a 11-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Luke Carrell to junior Joey Asta.
Pitman will travel to face Monterey Trail (10-0) next week. The Mustangs have shut out five of their last six opponents.
“Its going to be an uphill battle,” Tyler said. “Our kids are resilient and hard working. We just have to come out and play some good football.”