Things get a little tougher for the Pacheco football team from this point, starting with tonight’s showdown with undefeated Patterson on the road.
Pacheco is coming off a 58-12 win over Ceres, and Patterson last week held of Los Banos 28-10.
“We need to control the football,” Pacheco coach David Snapp said. “We need to keep them off the field, and at the end score more points than them. We can not turn the football over.”
The Panthers’ secondary got a little bit of a warm-up for Patterson’s pass game against Ceres’ prolific passing offense, and Snapp said he’s not sure exactly what to make of it.
“Ceres does a lot of different stuff, and I think Patterson is a better version,” Snapp said. “One of our weaknesses is our pass defense. We got some practice against Ceres, but I don’t think it was necessary good practice. They definitely have better athletes.”
Offensively, Pacheco did what it does best, and gave the ball to the Tank – Frank Ginda, that is. Ginda made the best of his few carries, breaking long runs to end up with more than 150 yards. Pacheco’s 22-6 lead after the first quarter meant the passing game didn’t really have a chance to get a workout.
“You want to respect your opponents and not look ike a jerk running up the score,” Snapp said. “We got a taste of that our first year. Some guys took advantage of it and some guys were respectful. Having respect for your opponent is key.”
When it comes to the pass, the Panthers (6-2, 3-1 WAC) are going to be cautious after the Tigers (7-0, 3-0) racked up four interceptions against Los Banos. Snapp has studied the film of that game.
“That’s one of the things that worries me about them on defense,” Snapp said. “They’re loaded with athletes, and you could see their guys baiting the Los Banos offense to throw the football. Kid thinks he has a guy open, and suddenly he’s swarmed with guys.
“We’ll move Juwan (Epperson) around in the pocket, and we’ll get him outside and give him the option to pass and run. I thimk athletically, we can match up with them. We just have to be smart.”
On the injury front, running back Moffat Teneng is healthy, which gives the Panthers another option if Ginda is slowed, and while linebacker Michael Dumagan was cleared to return from a high-ankle sprain, he may not be well enough to play.
The Panthers will also see the return of running back Librado Velazquez and lineman Trevon Duffy, who missed the first eight games.
Gustine above .500
Gustine’s 35-21 win over Denair on Friday put the Redskins above .500 for the first time since being 3-2 in 2008. Isaiah Figueroa ran for 203 yards in the win, and Josh Betterncourt’s two passes went for touchdowns.
Gustine (4-3) finishes the season against Le Grand (7-0), Ripon Christian (6-1) and Mariposa County (6-1).