Roundup: Merced, Golden Valley keep playoff hopes alive with wins. Thunder roll to 8-0

With his team fighting for their playoff lives, Merced High coach Rob Scheidt couldn’t be happier with the Bears performance on Friday night.

Scheidt watched as his team scored a season-high 54 points in a 54-24 rout of Patterson at Veterans Stadium.

It was an impressive all-around performance for the Bears (4-4 overall, 3-1 Central California Conference).

The defense came away with six turnovers, including three interceptions by cornerback Alfonso Gary. The offense scored at will as quarterback Seth Scheidt passed for 239 yards and four touchdowns. Running back Desmond Thompson finished with 23 carries for 161 yards and four touchdowns.

“Everything kind of clicked,” Rob Scheidt said. “We had kind of been getting better. We knew we had some big plays in the bag and we just executed them.”

Merced High’s Desmond Thompson (left) and Gabe Lopez (4) celebrate Lopez’s touchdown catch in a game against Patterson on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019 at Veterans Stadium. Shawn Jansen

The Bears coach said he pulled the seniors aside after the team dinner on Friday to stress the importance of Friday night’s game. A loss and Merced may not control its own destiny as far as making the playoffs.

“I told them I don’t know if you get this, but tonight’s the night,” Scheidt said. “There is no other tomorrow. If you lose tonight, the hopes that we have to move forward will be predicated on a lot of crazy things happening.”

The Bears looked like they were in playoff mode as the offense churned out big plays all night.

Senior A.J. Cheeseborough hauled in six catches for 119 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown catch that gave Merced a 20-17 lead with 8:40 left in the first half.

Thompson added a 52-yard touchdown run a few minutes later to extend the lead to 27-17.

Merced High senior running back Desmond Thompson makes his way through the hole against Patterson. Thompson scored three touchdowns in a 54-24 win for Merced on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019 at Veterans Stadium. Shawn Jansen

“Every game we play we have to win,” Thompson said. “Everyone was prepared for it tonight. We moved the ball around. A lot of people got the ball. Seth made some great throws and are receivers made some great plays.”

Cameron Frazier hauled in two touchdown catches from Scheidt and Gabe Lopez added a touchdown catch.

The Bears defense didn’t allow Patterson (5-4, 2-3 CCC) to score after surrendering a field goal with 9:13 left in the first half. The Tigers only points the rest of the way was a 75-yard kickoff return by Obadiah Godbolt in the final seconds of the first half.

The Bears came away with four interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

Merced High’s Gabe Lopez celebrates a touchdown catch with teammate Xavier Ortiz-Wilson during a game against Patterson on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019 at Veterans Stadium. Shawn Jansen

“They kept challenging me and I had to come up with a play,” said Gary. “The turnovers were big. We helped our offense almost score 60 points tonight. That’s the most points we scored all season and that’s the most turnovers we’ve had in a game all season.”

Next up for Merced is the 50th annual Santa Fe Bowl against Atwater (6-2, 3-1 CCC) in another key CCC matchup at Veterans Stadium.

Golden Valley 32, El Capitan 7 in Merced — Jabari Phillips scored three touchdowns to bring his season total up to 21 rushing touchdowns on the season as the Cougars (4-4, 2-2 CCC) kept their playoff hopes alive.

Zack Fernandez added a kickoff return for a touchdown for Golden Valley, which will head to Atwater next week to face undefeated Buhach Colony. Fernandez also intercepted two passes.

Buhach Colony 51, Central Valley 6 in Ceres — Anthony Berry scored two first-half touchdowns to help the Thunder get the ball rolling in a rout of the Hawks.

Youlas Dickson and Jacob Tanori added long touchdown runs as Buhach Colony improved to 8-0 on the season and 4-0 in the CCC.

Los Banos High running back, Justin Incaprera, runs up the middle against Ceres High Fri., Oct. 18, 2019 at Loftin Stadium in Los Banos. Gene Lieb

Los Banos 57, Ceres 14 in Los Banos — The Tigers rolled to their fourth straight win as Justin Incaprera rushed for 176 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries.

Colby Copp completed 7-of-9 passes for 170 yards and three touchdowns, including two touchdown passes to Landon Ramos.

Jo Jo Ramirez and Justin Williams both recorded two sacks for the Los Banos defense. The Tigers have now won four in a row to improve to 4-4 on the season and 4-1 in the Western Athletic Conference.

Pacheco 18, Mountain House 0 in Tracy — The Panthers defense posted their second shutout of the season. Dominic Gomez rushed for two touchdowns as Pacheco improved to 4-4 overall and 3-2 in the WAC.

Livingston 43, Riverbank 7 in Riverbank — Tyler Garcia rushed for two touchdowns and Rocklin Baptista competed all five of his pass attempts for 103 yards and two touchdowns. Livingston improved to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in the Trans-Valley League.

Le Grand 21, Gustine 14 in Gustine — Aaron Martinez hooked up with Michael Dinkins for two touchdown passes and Gavin Hernandez rushed for 143 yards and a touchdown as the Bulldogs improved to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the Southern League.

Denair 21, Delhi 8 in Delhi — Jorge Yanez scored two touchdowns as the Coyotes improved to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the SL. Delhi dropped to 0-8 and 0-5 in the SL.

Ripon Christian 48, Mariposa 0 in Mariposa — Senior running back Sean McGovern had three first-half touchdowns in the Knights (7-1, 5-0 SL) win over the Grizzlies (5-3, 4-1 SL).

Stone Ridge Christian 39, Brookside Christian 6 in Atwater — Kayden Silvera rushed for three touchdowns and Enam Davis added two touchdowns on the ground to help Stone Ridge Christian improve to 4-4 overall and 1-1 in the Central California Athletic Alliance.

Dos Palos 34, Firebaugh 28 (OT) in Dos Palos — Ryan Ramirez scored on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Trent Calvert in overtime to help the Broncos (7-1 overall, 3-0 West Sierra League) win a thriller.

Tyree Martin turned in a monster game for the Broncos, rushing for 134 yards on 16 carries and also catching seven passes for 107 yards and a touchdown.

Calvert completed 18 of 23 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns. Zane Merrell caught six passes for 113 yards.

Josh Harper returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown for Dos Palos.

Yosemite 35, Chowchilla 28 in Oakhurst — Kyler Schaeffer hauled in a 47-yard touchdown pass from Jadyn Carter in the fourth quarter to lift the Badgers to a win over the Tribe.

Jaylinn Gaines had tied the game at 28-28 earlier in the fourth quarter for Chowchilla (3-6, 0-3 North Sequoia League) with his second touchdown of the game. Gaines finished with 87 yards on 17 carries.

Darian Lopez added 99 rushing yards and a 70-yard touchdown pass for the Tribe.