High School Football

Notebook: Downey prepares for ‘rivalry’ game against Turlock; no word on MJC’s Velasquez.

Downey coach Jeremy Plaa said Friday’s game against Turlock at 7 p.m. at Chuck Hughes Stadium is a game the team had marked on its calendar for a long time.

“These games are the reason you do offseason workouts,” Plaa said at Monday’s Quarterback Club meeting. “We have a bit of a rivalry with these guys.”

Last year, Turlock beat Downey, 30-24, and the Bulldogs won the inaugural Central California Athletic League title. Before the season, most pegged Friday’s game as the one that would decide the conference title. However, Gregori (3-2) and Enochs (3-1) have shown promise in the early season.

Plaa said the Knights (3-2), who have lost two straight, benefited from last week’s bye and will return six or seven players who have been out with injuries.

Friday’s game is the CCAL opener for both teams. The two other conference games are Gregori at Modesto and Enochs at Pitman.

Enochs coach calls Edison’s Brown one of the fastest RB’s ever: Enochs coach James Stacy said Edison sophomore Raleek Brown was difficult to bring down in 1-on-1 coverage in Friday’s 48-10 loss.

“He is one of the fastest running backs we have ever encountered,” Stacy said. “He was running all over us.”

Brown had nine carries for 107 yards and three touchdowns in the win and is averaging over 10.4 yards per carry this year.

Enochs brought five athletes to the QB Club meeting:

  • Senior quarterback Ben Harless: Wants to major in law or communications or political science in college
  • Senior defensive end and tight end Jose Guizar: Wants to major in Civil engineering in college
  • Senior running back Christian Cervantes: Wants to attend Fresno State or San Jose State and major in computer engineering or business finance
  • Senior defensive end Launiu Tuaolo: Wants to play football in college
  • Sophomore running back and linebacker Abayomi Babalola: Wants to major in medical engineering in college

Big Valley Christian will bring its athletes next week.

Rivals face off in CCAL volleyball on Wednesday: Two of the top teams in the CCAL play at Pitman at 6 p.m. on Wednesday when the Pride (2-1, 11-10) hosts Turlock (3-0, 18-14).

The Bulldogs have been dominant in their three league games, dropping only one set.

The teams have split the last four meetings.

News and Notes:

  • After a 28-21 win over Mountain House, Johansen is 4-1 for the first time since since 1996, when the Vikings started 7-1 and reached the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I semifinals against Atwater. They lost that game to finished 10-3. Johansen was led by quarterback Mike Thiessen, who went on to star at Air Force, where he was voted the Mountain West Conference offensive player of the year in 2000. He’s currently the team’s offensive coordinator.
  • Modesto Junior College coach Rusty Stivers said Saturday’s 38-20 win over American River was the Pirates’ first win at American River in over 20 years. He didn’t have an update on redshirt sophomore quarterback Danny Velasquez’s knee injury. Velasquez injured his knee in the second series and didn’t return.
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Julian A. Lopez has been covering local sports for The Modesto Bee since August 2018. He graduated from Arizona State in 2016 with a BA in Journalism.