ATWATER — Last week Bob Valladao watched his team hold onto the ball.
As a result, the Atwater coach watched his team pick up its first win.
Turnovers were a big reason Atwater lost its first three games of the season.
Many of the mistakes were eliminated in last week’s 27-21 overtime victory over Turlock.
“We executed when we needed to and we only had one turnover,” Valladao said. “I don’t think Turlock punted at all, but we made them go the length of the field.”
Atwater (1-0 Central California Conference, 1-3) will try to keep the momentum going tonight when it hosts Golden Valley (0-0 CCC, 2-2) tonight at Falcon Field.
Other CCC games tonight include Turlock (0-1 CCC) at Los Banos (1-0 CCC), with Buhach Colony (0-1 CCC) traveling to Pitman (0-1 CCC). Kickoffs are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Golden Valley benefited from nine Modesto turnovers in last week’s 28-14 win. Golden Valley will have quarterback Jeremy Jacobo back in uniform tonight after the senior served a one-game suspension last week for an ejection against Sonora.
However, Sergio Gutierrez will make his second straight start behind center after an impressive performance last week.
“Last time he was in, we won,” GV coach Jon Betschart said.
“We scored 21 points in the first half and it’s hard to pull a guy after that kind of success.
“They both received equal reps in practice.”
Jacobo also could see time at receiver.
Atwater knows Golden Valley’s game plan isn’t going to change with a different quarterback.
“We have to play assignment football,” Valladao said. “That’s pretty much it. “We have to account for the dive. We have to account for the quarterback and the pitch.
“We have to cover the hole field.”
Both Jacobo and Gutierrez will play on defense where their speed may be needed. “Atwater has some fast wingbacks who can do some damage,” Betschart said. “Turlock is a very good club and Atwater put a lot of points up.”
Betschart noticed a different level of intensity in practice with Golden Valley preparing for its first conference game.
“You could definitely see an edge at practice earlier in the week,” Betschart said.
“It’s league now. We’re ready to go.”
Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at 385-2462 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Golden Valley at Atwater
WHEN: Tonight, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Falcon Field
RECORDS: Atwater 1-3, 1-0 CCC; Golden Valley 2-2, 0-0 CCC.
LAST WEEK: Atwater defeated Turlock 27-21; Golden Valley defeated Modesto 28-14.
OTHER GAMES TONIGHT: Beyer at Merced; Buhach Colony at Pitman; Delhi at Livingston;
Dos Palos at Sierra; Chowchilla at Kern; Mariposa at Modesto Christian; Argonaut at Hilmar; Waterford at Gustine; Le Grand at Riverbank; Forest Hill at Stone Ridge Christian.