The Downey High football team squeaked its way out of Hughson with a victory Friday night, earning a narrow 19-13 win in its first road contest of the season.
Joseph Ramirez played quarterback for the third straight week, filling in for Week 1 starter Carson Lamb who is nursing a small hairline fracture on the ring finger knuckle of his throwing hand. He is not expected to need surgery, but doctors estimated a three- to four-week recovery.
Downey scored the game’s first 12 points, all in the first quarter. A second-quarter pick-six put the Knights ahead 19-0 with about 10 minutes left in the half. The Knights were held scoreless the rest of the game, however, as Malakai Sumter came away with two interceptions.
“Hughson did some stuff that made it difficult on us,” Downey coach Jeremy Plaa said Saturday morning, “We turned the ball over twice — one of the turnovers was our fault, and one of the turnovers, they made a really great play. It was a game of momentum, too. It was our first road game ... we were in a hostile environment last night. Our defense played lights out, but our offense just kind of struggled to get it going.”
The Huskies introduced Downey to their version of one-school town, small-school football.
They fed off the crowd’s energy, rattling off 13 unanswered points. Robert McDaniel bounced back from his early interception, throwing a touchdown pass to Max Mankins and rushing for another score.
“The whole week we said we just need to weather the storm and make our adjustments and we’ll be fine,” said Hughson coach Shaun King, “and that’s exactly what happened and we had a chance to win it there at the end.
“We’re going to be able to compete in the TVL and with whoever is in the playoffs. There’s no heads down. We competed with one of the best programs in Modesto, enrollment or not. It was a physical game. On both sides, we were pleased with the game.”
Downey’s defense sealed the game with a fourth-down stop with around a minute remaining, forcing a Hughson turnover.
“The defense came up with a couple of huge plays,” Plaa said. “They did a great job. They won the game.”
Downey remains a perfect 4-0 and travels to Tracy next week for its final nonleague game. Hughson is 3-1 and hosts Elite of Vallejo Sept. 15.
East Union 30, Enochs 7: The Eagles fell behind 24-0 before reaching the end zone for their only touchdown. Quarterback Micah Rapier found Kaedon Kopp for a 76-yard TD connection.
Central Valley 42, Modesto 20: A long kickoff return from Anthony Ramirez set up a one-play scoring drive for Central Valley to open the game. Hawks quarterback Mario Gonzalez took the first snap to the end zone for a 33-yard rushing touchdown. The Hawks rode a 28-12 halftime lead to their second straight win this season.
Hilmar 8, Atwater 7: Hilmar linebacker Matthew Avila got the Yellowjackets on the board for the first time in the third quarter, tackling Atwater quarterback James Bell in the end zone for a safety. Atwater took a 7-2 fourth quarter lead but quarterback Caden Bailey scored Hilmar’s only touchdown, rushing for a four-yard score with under two minutes remaining. Logan Cardoso rushed for 114 yards on 24 carries.
California 42, Escalon 21: The Cougars’ road win streak ended at the hands of California High of San Ramon on Friday night. Escalon marched down the field on its first drive but a goal-line stand by California kept the game scoreless. Jayden Macedo threw for five touchdowns for Cal High and Josh Graham rushed for a pair of touchdowns. Escalon travels to Oakdale next week.
Summerville 42, Big Valley Christian 0: After gutting out a win over Denair in the opener, the Lions lost their third straight, dropping a nonleague contest to the Bears. Big Valley Christian plays its next four games at home.
West 13, Beyer 7: The Patriots’ losing streak was extended Friday night as they lost a nailbiter to West of Tracy. Beyer plays its Western Athletic Conference opener next week as it hosts Los Banos.
Folsom 49, Turlock 7: Folsom rolled to victory, powered by 21 first-quarter and 14 second-quarter points. Jeremiah Bertalotto connected with Hunter Kincaid on a three-yard pass for the Bulldogs’ only score.
Riverbank 17, Florin 6: The Bruins spoiled Florin’s homecoming to pick up their second win of the season. They led 10-0 heading into the fourth quarter. It is the program’s first season with more than one win since 2018.
Bear River 37, Davis 27: The Spartans remained competitive against Bear River but were unable to pull out a win. Davis begins Western Athletic Conference play next week as it travels to Mountain House.
Oakdale 41, Sheldon 6: Gabe McDonald got the Mustangs on the board with their first rushing touchdown in the opening quarter. Oakdale scored 41 unanswered points before allowing a Sheldon score.
Ripon 28, Calaveras 7: After finishing the first quarter tied at 7-7 with Calaveras, Ripon ended the game scoring 21 unanswered points to secure its second win this season. Anden Reis finished with rushing touchdowns of 10, 62 and six yards.
Modesto Christian at Berean Christian
Patterson at Menlo-Atherton