LOS BANOS — Los Banos High's football team brought the intensity, and a little luck, to the Westside War on Friday.
Los Banos ran away with a 43-3 victory over Dos Palos in the 79th meeting between the two schools.
A sophomore duo powered the Tigers to the win, with running back David Walker piling up 137 yards on 17 carries, and Adam Herrera making play after play on defense.
"It's huge, I mean it's a game that we try to stress to our kids that it's one of the bigger crowds they're going to play in front of. There's a lot of people here tonight," said Los Banos coach Dustin Caropreso, who now holds a 2-0 record against the Broncos. "Being here from Los Banos, this is huge to be 2-0 against them as a head coach.
"And it was a big win for us. We got beat up last week against that Manteca team, and we came out and we responded. We had a great week of practice, and the kids responded well."
Los Banos jumped out early, with Herrera jumping on a fumble from DP running back Izzac Suarez on the game's first play from scrimmage. LB mounted a shaky drive with one near interception and two fumbles, both recovered by Tigers. The second fumble came on a Loggan Pimentel quarterback sneak, and lineman Michael Severino fell on the ball in the end zone to give LB the first points of the game.
A 51-yard Noah Croninger field goal in the first quarter accounted for DP's only points of the night. The Broncos finished with 41 rushing yards as a team, with starting tailback Suarez carrying eight times for negative yardage. Suarez returned to the game after suffering a bad ankle sprain in the team's opener, and left the field limping several times.
Croninger, the quarterback, finished with 44 yards on the ground, but he did provide the team's only bright spot, completing 12 of 19 passes for 146 yards.
"We didn't do a very good job up front," Dos Palos coach Shawn Garrick said. "We definitely thought we'd do a much better job blocking them, and we made some mistakes, but physically, they were taking it to us up front. I don't know any other way to say it. Physically, we got handled tonight."
Los Banos opened the floodgates early with a Bailey Rodriguez dive, a 31-yard walker touchdown, a Bebeto Robles field goal and a Pimentel touchdown pass to tight end Alec Barcellos. Defensive back Gilbert Fuentes's interception that set up Pimentel's touchdown broke the Broncos' back.
The Tigers even got the backups in on the action, with a 28-yard fumble recovery by lineman John Gonzalez capping the scoring in the fourth quarter.
LOS BANOS 43, DOS PALOS 3
Dos Palos 3 0 0 0 3
Los Banos 14 16 3 10 43
LB Michael Severino fumble recovery in end zone, Bebeto Robles kick
DP Noah Croninger 51 field goal
LB Bailey Rodriguez 1 run, Robles kick
LB David Walker 31 run, Robles kick
LB Robles 35 field goal
LB Alec Barcellos 7 pass from Loggan Pimentel, kick blocked
LB Robles 45 field goal
LB Robles 42 field goal
LB John Gonzalez 28 fumble recovery, Robles kick
Records Dos Palos 0-3, Los Banos 3-1
JV 16-6 Dos Palos