The statisticians may still be adding up all the points and yards from last year’s football game between Buhach Colony and Pacheco High School.
The two teams combined for 123 points and 1,112 yards as the Thunder won 69-54.
Can we expect another shootout when the two teams face each other again on Friday night at Pacheco High’s Veterans Stadium.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Never miss a local story.
It’s no surprise that when Buhach Colony coach Kevin Navarra was asked what concerns him most about facing the Panthers his response was their offense.
“(David Snapp) has been pretty effective with what they run offensive the last few years,” said Navarra, whose team comes in with a 1-2 record. “Any time you have an experienced quarterback running the option that’s going to be tough to stop.”
Enter Aric Barton.
Pacheco’s third-year quarterback is the engineer for the Panthers’ option attack.
In the loss to the Thunder last year, Barton completed 15 of 25 passes for 264 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for 158 yards and two more scores on just 10 carries.
“He runs their offense well by just reading,” Navarra said. “The best way to say it is he reads his keys. He has opportunities to give the ball or keep it and he seems to make good decision.”
Barton thrown for 2,472 yards and 29 touchdowns in his career heading into this game and ran for 1,263 yards and another 15 touchdowns.
“It comes with a lot of repetition,” said Snapp, whose team is off to a 2-1 start. “I’ve used this offense for a lot of years, except for my time at Los Banos, and he’s the best one I’ve had. He just has a natural instinct. He reads the eyes of the defender.
“He’s almost like a tailback. When you have a great tailback you want to get the ball to him as much as possible. Well, we want the ball in Aric’s hands as much as possible.”
Buhach Colony will counter with its two running backs Christian Quirarte and John Buttrey. Quirarte leads the team with 272 rushing yards and seven touchdowns this season. Buttrey is second on the team with 240 yards.
“Our two inside running backs Christian Quirarte and John Buttrey have both been able to pound the ball between the tackles for us,” Navarra said.
Both coaches stress how important it will be to play assignment football on defense. While Buhach Colony’s defense will have its hands full with the Panthers’ option attack, the Pacheco defense will have to sort through all the Thunder’s misdirection in their fly offense.
Neither coach wants to watch another offensive explosion.
“We need to play more sound defensively,” Snapp said. “We have to stay with our assignments and trust each other. If you look at last year’s tape, yeah, we weren’t in position a lot of the time, but at times we didn’t tackle well. I think we’re a little bit more mature this year. We’re going to have to have a desire to finish the play.”
Jansen’s Weekly Predictions
Pick in parenthesis
Buhach Colony at Pacheco (Buhach Colony)
Merced at Madera (Merced)
Lincoln at Golden Valley (Lincoln)
El Capitan at Kings Academy (El Capitan)
Beyer at Atwater (Beyer)
Dos Palos at Los Banos (Los Banos)
Hilmar at Sonora (Sonora)
Mountain House at Livingston (Mountain House)
Linden at Le Grand (Linden)
Modesto Christian at Gustine (Gustine)
Mariposa at Yosemite (Mariposa)
Stone Ridge Christian at Denair (Stone Ridge Christian)
Central Valley Christian at Chowchilla (Central Valley Christian)