Dennis Stubbs can't ask his Golden Valley players to give any more effort than they gave in last week's loss to Downey.
The Cougars head football coach watched as many of his players suffered leg cramps late in the second half.
It was as if Golden Valley's tanks went empty after watching the Knights erase a 12-point second-half deficit on their way to a 42-39 win.
"It just had to do with exhaustion," Stubbs said. "It forced us to make some adjustments this week in our meetings. We don't have a lot of players, but we still have to find a way to give the guys who get a lot of reps some breaks. We're going to have to find some other guys to step up."
Stubbs hopes another week of conditioning will pay off when the Cougars host Beyer tonight at 7:30 at Veterans Stadium.
The Patriots opened their season with a 57-19 win over Merrill West of Tracy behind Jay Green's 107 rushing yards.
"They played a pretty physical West team," Stubbs said. "It was close before I left. The fireworks came after I took off. They scored a lot of points. They're a mix of young guys and a few veterans. I think it'll be a good matchup for us. They're going to test our defense with the way they run the ball."
There were definitely bright spots for Golden Valley. Running backs Isaiah Peterson and Ty Jones both topped 100 yards, quarterback Jashaan Wright made some big plays in the passing game and the Cougars returned two fumbles for touchdowns.
"We talk about it all the time. We like what is going on here," Stubbs said. "Our guys left everything on the field. They practice hard. Guys are staying after and running extra. They're lifting weights.
"It's a process. It'll happen some time. We've got a plan to hopefully get this going. We have to be patient and hopefully improve week-to-week."
It's a full schedule of games this week with some intriguing matchups.
Merced (1-0), which opened the season with a thrilling 40-39 win over Clovis West, travels to Modesto to face Downey (1-0).
The Knights struggled to pass protect against the Cougars. Downey could be in trouble with Merced's experienced front seven on defense.
Buhach Colony (0-1) will host Enochs (0-1) in a matchup of two defenses that combined to give up 135 points last week.
The Thunder will focus on Eagles quarterback Shawn Munoz, who ran for 78 yards against Pitman.
"Their QB is the key to their offense," Buhach Colony co-head coach Kevin Swartwood said. "He's the leader of their team. He can run option or throw it."
Buhach Colony will have to cut down on the five turnovers that plagued it in the 67-30 loss to San Ramon Valley.
"I thought our guys did a good job of looking at the game and putting it in perspective," Swartwood said. "They understand we have to get a lot better and everyone has to do their part for us to get better."
Pacheco looks to improve to 2-0 tonight against Escalon (0-1).
Shawn Garrick makes his coaching debut for Dos Palos when the Broncos host Hilmar (1-0), which crushed Livingston 43-7 behind four touchdown passes for Jonathan O'Brien.
Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star reporter and can be reached at 385-2462 or email@example.com.