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Atwater stalls, Turlock rallies

ATWATER -- Johnny Mobley extended his right hand, knocking the football straight up into the air.

The Atwater linebacker tracked its flight and hauled in the interception with nothing but open field in front of him.

The senior raced 79 yards for his second pick-six of the night, putting Atwater up 28-7 with 1:13 to play in the third quarter.

It should have been the cap to a perfect Senior Night at Falcon Field, but just as quickly as Atwater seized control of the game, Turlock somehow grabbed it back.

Led by the speed of quarterback Kevin Kramer and the power of fullback Derek Woods, Turlock stormed back with 24 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.

Turlock kicker Sean Badiou put the nail in the coffin, hitting an 18-yard, game-winning field goal with 15 seconds to play for a 31-28 victory.

"We had all the hype going our way," Mobley said. "We thought we had them.

"You have to give Turlock credit for coming back like that."

Atwater had two first-half TDs called back, allowing Turlock to take a 7-0 lead into the break.

Despite the lead, all momentum seemed to rest with Atwater.

Turlock running back Theron Gallegos exited the game with an injury on Turlock's opening possession.

Turlock (4-2 CCC, 8-2) finished that possession with a score, but struggled to move the ball the rest of the half without its all-conference back.

Sensing it was in control, Atwater opened the third quarter with an onside kick, which it recovered.

Quarterback Nathan Sanchez made the break count, hitting Juan Diaz with a 15-yard TD pass to tie the game.

Less than a minute later, Atwater took the lead as Mobley intercepted Kramer and scooted 47 yards for the score.

Atwater scoring 21 points off of four turnovers in the third quarter, to build a 28-7 lead.

"We came out real focused in the second half," said Diaz who had eight catches for 104 yards. "We were cruising. Then, I don't know what happened."

Atwater just couldn't run out the clock. It couldn't run, period.

With most of his rushing offense shut down, Atwater coach Bob Valladao stuck with the short passing game that had shredded Turlock for most of the game.

It backfired.

Atwater didn't gain a single first down in the fourth quarter, and Turlock capitalized.

Turlock tied the game with three scores in just over seven minutes, setting up the last-second heroics.

"We wanted to be able to run the clock, but we just couldn't do it," Valladao said.

At Atwater

TURLOCK 7 0 0 24 -- 31

ATWATER 0 0 28 0 -- 28

First Quarter

T -- Derek Woods 5 run (Sean Badiou kick)

Third Quarter

A -- Juan Diaz 15 pass from Nathan Sanchez (John Gurrero kick)

A -- Johnny Mobley 47 interception return (pass failed)

A -- Anthony Montanez 17 pass from Sanchez (Jason Diaz pass from Sanchez)

A -- Mobley 79 interception return (Gurrero kick)

Fourth Quarter

T -- Derek Woods 1 run (Badiou kick)

T -- Kevin Kramer 1 run (Badiou kick)

T -- Colton Pifer 45 pass from Kramer (Badiou kick)

T -- Badiou 18 field goal

Records: Turlock 4-2 CCC, 8-2; Atwater 2-4 CCC, 4-6.