SALIDA — Hilmar senior David Bisby felt his team was flying under the radar coming into the Yellowjackets big matchup against Modesto Christian on Friday night.
The Yellowjackets will get plenty of attention after they dominated a very good Crusaders team in a 30-0 victory in the Trans-Valley League opener for both teams at Ray Blakely Field.
"I think we definitely came out and made a statement tonight," said Bisby, who finished with two sacks. "We're a team to watch."
It's hard to argue for anybody who watched Hilmar (1-0 TVL, 5-0 overall) dismantle Modesto Christian (0-1, 3-2) in just about every way.
Hilmar did what it wanted on offense as quarterback Jonathan O'Brien completed 14 of 21 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown. O'Brien also ran for 95 yards, including a 56-yard TD on a zone-read option play in the third quarter.
The Yellowjackets added 248 yards on the ground.
"(Modesto Christian) is an exceptional football team. I didn't expect that," said Hilmar head coach Frank Marques. "We really haven't been tested all year. We hadn't really been in a dog fight. Modesto Christian was tough. We just happened to execute some plays at the right time."
The Yellowjackets defense was relentless as they made it a long night for the Crusaders explosive offense. Modesto Christian quarterback Anthony Brooks was held to just 7 yards on 18 carries. He didn't have much success in the air, either as he completed only 5 of 16 passes for for 77 yards and two interceptions.
Hilmar had four or five defenders around the ball at all times.
"Yellowjackets swarm, that's what we do," Bisby said.
The Hilmar offense started slow as Devon Mederios' 33-yard field goal on the opening drive gave the Yellowjackets a 3-0 lead early.
O'Brien later hooked up with Trent Orosco for a 17-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter that gave Hilmar a 9-0 lead at the half.
The Yellowjackets then put the game away in the third quarter.
Cornerback Giovanni Salcedo intercepted a tipped swing pass from Brooks and scored from 17 yards out to extend the Hilmar lead to 16-0 midway through the third quarter.
O'Brien later broke free for his 56-yard run to give Hilmar a 23-0 lead just before the end of the third quarter.
"It was a read-option play and my read was the defensive end," O'Brien said. "Our running back did a great job because he took four or five guys with him.
"I was able to break free from the safety and the corner and score."
O'Brien felt the defense was the story after they held Modesto Christian to just 122 yards of offense.
"Our defense is huge," O'Brien said. "They take so much pressure off of me and our offense.
"If we turn the ball over we know we're going to get the ball back without them putting points on the board."
Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at (209) 385-2462 or firstname.lastname@example.org.