Maxwell 42 – Modoc 28
Coming off their disappointing season opening loss to Hamilton City, the Panthers bounced back nicely last Friday night to even their record to 1-1, coming away with a convincing victory, after making the long haul to Alturas to square off against the Braves.
Seniors Dillon Dry and Berto Lara had huge nights on offense for Maxwell, in a game that was not really as close as the score may appear.
Dry rolled up 142 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, in addition to completing 12 of 18 passes for 120 yards, while Lara carried 13 times for 131 yards and a score of his own.
Defensively, the Panthers showed improvement forcing five Brave turnovers, although head coach Lane Davis said that because of injury, Maxwell was “still piecing it together, trying to put players in positions where they can be successful.”
Spearheading the charge was senior lineman Cale Kuska, who Davis praised for his efforts.
“I’m not sure anyone can block him,” said Davis. “He’s the whole package, and we believe he has the potential to play at the next level, but it’s not just us, he has also gotten the attention of the coaches from the other teams who are impressed with what they’ve seen from him.”
Kuska finished the night with two sacks, a fumble recovery, and a blocked kick.
Davis also credited the play of junior Rudi Gonzalez in the secondary, explaining that, “Rudi probably doesn’t get enough credit for what he does, but he shuts down one side of the field. They try to go his way a couple times and quickly realize they can’t get anything going. He is doing a great job.”
Gonzalez, likewise, plays an important role on special teams for the Panthers, where, against Modoc, he kicked five extra points and converted a two-point try as well.
Now in week three, the Panthers open Cascade Valley League play in their home opener this Friday night when the Portola Tigers come to town.
Pierce 15 – Clear Lake 28
Not shying away from tough competition, Pierce traveled to Lakeport for a Week 2 matchup against the Cardinals, but as they did in their season opener, had a quiet second half and went down to defeat.
While Clear Lake got on the board first midway through the first period, the Bears answered with a Manuel Lopez touchdown to knot the score at 7-7.
With the momentum in its favor, David Aguirre found the end zone from 34 yards out to give Pierce its first and, unfortunately, only lead of the contest 13-7.
Yet, the Cardinals would continue to capitalize through the air, scoring in each of the remaining quarters.
Although the Bears defense did come through with a second half safety, it could not generate any more points.
Lopez put forth another yeoman-like effort, rushing 25 times for 130 yards, while Aguirre had his best outing to date, garnering 80 yards on 14 carries.
Coach Anthony Tapia knew going into the game that the Cardinals would be a competitive opponent, but he wants to continue to test his squad in the preseason and have them learn their lessons before conference play begins next month.
“They were as good as advertised,” said Tapia. “Although I felt we were actually the better team.”
Now 0-2, the Bears ready themselves for Friday night’s trip to Williams (0-2) for the 92nd Annual Rice Bowl, where they look to keep their five-game win streak against the Yellowjackets alive.
Williams 12 –Durham 21
A second straight trip to Butte County ended in another tough road loss for the Yellowjackets, who despite being inside the 10-yard line four times were only able to come away with points once.
Making matters worse, according to head coach Jeff Lemus, the ‘Jackets also had a punt blocked by the Trojans, who scored as a result of the play.
“It was like a repeat from last year against Durham,” Lemus said. “We were inside the 10 five times and only scored once. It’s frustrating, and we know we need to get better before Friday.”
Quarterback Adrian Solis put up big numbers for a second straight week, completing 11 passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns, then, additionally, picked up 124 yards on the ground.
On the receiving end of three of those passes was Alan Rodriguez, who accounted for 105 yards and a touchdown.
Jose Campos hauled in the other ‘Jacket score, finding the end zone on a short pass from Solis.
On the defensive side of the ball, Johny Alcarez had two sacks, four tackles, and forced a fumble, while Izael Velazquez made 10 tackles and Johnathan Gutierrez recorded eight.
Still searching for its first win of the season, Williams returns to McCarl Field for its home opener on Friday night when the ‘Jackets hosts county rival Pierce in the 92nd Annual Rice Bowl. ■