TRACY – After the final whistle blew, Bret Harte head football coach Kelly Osborn reminded his players of one simple fact.
“Hey, the Bret Harte Bullfrogs are 3-0,” Osborn exclaimed.
The Bret Harte JV football team played as close to a complete game as it gets, and ruined Millennium High School’s homecoming with a 41-0 thrashing Friday night at Tracy High School’s Wayne Schneider Stadium in Tracy.
While Osborn was thrilled to see 41 points on the scoreboard at the end of the game, he was even happier to see that his defense didn’t allow one point. The Bullfrog defense was in the Falcon backfield all night and swarmed to the ball on nearly every play.
“The defensive line had a really good tempo tonight,” Osborn said. “Our ’backers had an outstanding game tonight as far as our blitz game and they did an outstanding job of making plays when they got there. I thought Damien Jordan at nose guard tonight was a real difference maker. He got a big push, put a lot of pressure on the quarterback and really set the tone for our whole defense.”
Bret Harte’s defense made the first big play of the night. Late in the opening quarter, Millennium put the ball on the turf and the Bullfrogs recovered the fumble. Following the turnover, Dakota Stephens scored the first points of the evening with a 3-yard run right up the middle for a touchdown. The PAT was unsuccessful and with 1:33 to play in the first quarter, Bret Harte led 6-0.
Perhaps the turning point of the game came late in the second quarter. The Bullfrogs moved the ball down the field and deep into Millennium territory, but their drive appeared to have stalled at the Falcon 3-yard line. On fourth-and-goal, Osborn trusted his quarterback Dylan Knick to throw the ball and Knick didn’t disappoint. Knick found an open Boston Williams in the back of the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown. Blayne Pullin added the 2-point conversion and Bret Harte extended its lead to 14-0 with 3:18 to play in the half.
“It’s just one of those things where their defense was sucking up and playing inside and that left that open,” Osborn said about calling a pass on fourth down. “Dylan made a good throw and Boston made a good catch and it turned out how we wanted it.”
The Bullfrog defense forced a Falcon punt with under a minute to play in the second quarter and after a deep sideline completion from Knick to Pullin, Bret Harte’s Ezra Radabaugh scored on a 12-yard option run right before the end of the half. Bret Harte went into the locker room with a strong 21-0 lead.
The Bullfrogs struck early in the third quarter, as Pullin took a sweep and didn’t stop running until he scored from 15 yards out. The touchdown pushed Bret Harte’s lead to 28-0. With 1:11 to play in the third quarter, Radabaugh returned a Falcon punt 40 yards for the score. Bret Harte’s final touchdown also happened to be the longest score of the night. AJ Scrivner took a handoff up the middle, broke a couple of tackles and scampered 48 yards to the end zone.
With the win, Bret Harte improves to 3-0. The Bullfrogs will take on Big Valley Christian at 5 p.m., Sept. 24 in Modesto. With each victory, Osborn can see the confidence grow in his players and the belief that they have the ability to not only put up a fight on the gridiron, but that they can win.
“After we did our ‘Bullfrog spell’ after our first victory, there was such a surprise that they had for that win and such an elation,” Osborn said. “Now, we are starting to see what we are capable of. We still have a long way to go and we are still really young and are still learning a lot about the game. But last week against El Dorado, it started 20-0 and then was 20-13 and there was no momentum swing on our sideline. I think that was a big change that I saw. In years past, sometimes there was disbelief and we just didn’t have that feeling at all last week. That’s the difference right now. The team is starting to get confidence.”