High School Football

Los Banos vs. Turlock: Tale of two tactics

Tharon Gallegos. Turlock High School.
Tharon Gallegos. Turlock High School. Modesto Bee

How do you like your football?

On the ground, with a tailback pounding away at the line, picking up six, seven yards a carry, before ripping off a long touchdown run?

In the air, with a receiver running curl patterns for short yardage before dashing down the side and hauling in a long pass?

Perhaps you appreciate both?

You'll get that opportunity Friday when Los Banos visits Turlock in a Central California Conference opener that features two of The Bee's top large schools.

Both teams are contenders for the CCC title and a playoff berth, and the outcome will ride on the ability of Turlock's Tharon Gallegos and Los Banos' Rubal Sangha to maintain their hot starts.

The 6-foot, 170-pound Gallegos is the Stanislaus District's No. 2 rusher with 544 yards and has four touchdowns for No. 3 Turlock (3-0). He's tops with 181 yards a game -- Buhach Colony's Corey Chapman has 648 yards but in four games.

Gallegos has picked up where he left off last season, when he had career highs of 33 carries and 234 yards in the final week of the season. He's averaging 26 carries per game.

On the other side is Sangha, a 6-foot, 175-pounder leading the Sac-Joaquin Section with 13 touchdowns and 472 yards receiving. He has returned two kickoffs for touchdowns for the fifth-ranked Tigers (2-2), so the 'Dogs will need to be vigilant.

The CCC has two playoff spots, and with state-ranked Merced a heavy favorite to earn one, this is as close to a must-win game as you'll find in the fourth week.