TRACY – After the final whistle, Bret Harte’s head football coach Kelly Osborn reminded his players of a simple fact.
“Hey, Bret Harte’s Bullfrogs are 3-0,” Osborn exclaimed.
Bret Harte JV’s football team played as close to a full game as possible and ruined the Millennium High School homecoming with a 41-0 loss on Friday night at Wayne Schneider Stadium at Tracy High School in Tracy .
While Osborn was delighted to see 41 points on the scoreboard at the end of the game, he was even happier to see his defense not allowing any points. The Bullfrog defense was in the Falcon’s backfield all night and invaded the ball almost with every play.
“The defensive line had a really good rhythm tonight,” said Osborn. “Our ‘backers had an exceptional game tonight in terms of our blitz game and they did an amazing job making plays when they got there. I thought Damien Jordan at the nose guard tonight was a real difference maker. He had a big boost, put a lot of pressure on the quarterback and really set the tone for our entire defense.
Bret Harte’s defense made the first big game of the evening. Towards the end of the first quarter, Millennium put the ball on the turf and the Bullfrogs recovered the fumble. After the turnover, Dakota Stephens scored the first points of the night with a 3-yard run down center for a touchdown. PAT failed and with 1:33 left in the first quarter, Bret Harte was leading 6-0.
Perhaps the turning point of the match came at the end of the second quarter. The Bullfrogs moved the ball across the field and deep into Millennium territory, but their training seemed to have stalled on the Falcon’s 3-yard line. On the 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 his lead to 14-0 with 3:18 left in the half.
“It’s just one of those things where their defense was sucking and playing on the inside and it left that open,” Osborn said of the call for a pass on fourth down. “Dylan put in a good pitch and Boston had a good catch and it turned out like we wanted it to.”
The Bullfrog defense forced a Falcon punt with less than a minute left in the second quarter and after a deep completion from Knick to Pullin, Bret Harte’s Ezra Radabaugh scored on a 12-yard option just before the end of half-time. Bret Harte entered the locker room with a solid 21-0 lead.
The Bullfrogs struck early in the third quarter, as Pullin swept and didn’t stop running until he scored from 15 yards. The touchdown took Bret Harte’s lead to 28-0. With 1:11 to go in the third quarter, Radabaugh returned a Falcon punt for 40 yards for the score. Bret Harte’s final touchdown also turned out to be the longest score of the night. AJ Scrivner took a throw in the middle, broke a few tackles and ran 48 yards to the end zone.
With the victory, Bret Harte improves to 3-0. The Bullfrogs face Big Valley Christian at 5 p.m. on September 24 in Modesto. With each victory, Osborn can see the confidence in his players grow and the belief that they have the ability not only to fight on the grill, but that they can win.
“After we did our ‘Bullfrog spell’ after our first win, there was such a surprise they had for it and such elation,” said Osborn. “Now we’re starting to see what we’re capable of. We still have a long way to go and we are still very young and we are still learning a lot about the game. But last week against El Dorado it started 20-0 then it was 20-13 and there is no had no change in momentum on our sideline. I think it’s a big change that I’ve seen. In years gone by there was sometimes disbelief and we just didn’t have that feeling at all last week. That’s the difference right now. The team is starting to gain confidence.