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Atwater football's stay at top short with loss to Pitman

TURLOCK -- Atwater may spend a little time working on its run defense.

Fresh off being shut out by Turlock, a highly motivated Pitman offense ran over, through and around the Atwater D.

Five different Pitman backs rushed for at least 50 yards, and Pitman accumulated over 450 yards on the ground while pounding Atwater 51-6 on Friday night.

"This is a huge disappointment," Atwater running back Dexter Coward said. "We really felt coming into this game that if we executed our plays, we'd pull off the upset."

With its defense struggling to slow the Pitman running game, Atwater (2-1 CCC, 4-3 overall) was going to need a big game from its offense to keep pace.

An injury to Coward's shoulder in the opening quarter prevented that from happening.

Not needing to concern itself with Atwater's bruising back, the Pitman defense spent the rest of its evening wreaking havoc on quarterback Nathan Sanchez.

Bringing blitz packages from all over the field, Pitman sacked Sanchez seven times -- including a safety.

"We just weren't communicating and following through on our assignments," Sanchez said. "We lost our confident back (Coward) and it threw off the tempo and got us out of sync."

The same couldn't be said for Pitman (2-1 CCC, 5-2).

Marcus Sanders led all rushers with 116 yards on 10 carries and two scores.

Michah Judish chipped in with 70 yards and a touchdown, and Spencer Hopkins added two TDs and 52 yards.

Atwater's lone score came in the first quarter.

Anthony Blanco gave Atwater a first-and-goal after breaking a 65-yard run.

Coward got Atwater on the board, hitting Grant Rose for 5 yards on a halfback pass .

He exited the game on the next series.

"I was really looking forward to coming in here and playing tonight," Coward said.

"It's too bad."