A very dominating first-half and stifling defense lifted Orestimba’s junior varsity Warriors squad to a 44-8 victory over the Rio Vista Rams in their non-league season opener. 

With Rio Vista pushing the ball to their own 35 yard and going for it on 4th and 7 in the first quarter, Orestimba’s Derek Rosas came up with a big defensive play, stopping the Rams running back in his tracks from entering the end zone.  

On the next set of downs quarterback Jacob Valenzuela hit Drew Felber for a 17-yard pass to put the Warriors on the 10-yard line, and then handing the ball off to Juan Esquivez to score the first touchdown of the evening.

The Rams came back for a chance to score and did so with a big passing play of 85 yards and completing a two-point conversion to put them ahead 8-6 just mid-way through the first quarter.

After the final scoring by the Rams that opened the floodgates for the Warriors.

Orestimba struck again on the following possession when Valenzuela kept the ball on a read option play, putting the Warriors in great field position at the 5-yard line. That lined up the perfect play for Esquivez to walking in for a touchdown. Mateo Navarro hauled in a Valenzuela pass for the two-point conversion, putting the Warriors up 14-8 leading into the second quarter.

Another Rio Vista turnover occurred when Nick Cuevas recovered a loose ball on Rio Vista’s own 9-yard line. 

Following that Orestimba scored once again. Valenzuela hit Jordan Perez in the corner of the end zone for the touchdown, and connecting again for the two-point conversion extending their lead 22-8.

They received the ball again from a turnover on downs from the Rams. Valenzuela hit Felber on a passing play from a big gain of 32 yards, while the two connected for another time on a 18-yard screen pass play to finish off the first-half scoring. On the next play for the point-after attempt some miscommunication occurred causing a loose ball and Luis Bonilla picked it up and ran it in for the two-point conversion, and Orestimba went into the break up 30-8.

The Warriors returned from the half fired up and ready to put more points on the board. They had two big plays on their opening drive putting them in the red zone. Valenzuela hit Jacob Mar on a 15-yard screen play to score the touchdown. Esquivez was once again successful on a Orestimba two-point conversion putting them up 38-8 early in the third quarter.

The Warrior defense once again held the Rio Vista offense to no score in the second half.

A 58-yard rushing touchdown from Valenzuela in the fourth quarter finished the scoring for Warriors.

“Offensively, we played a clean game all night with only two penalties and no turnovers,” Head coach Mario Martins said. “We are still rusty in the running attack but our running backs did a good job running between the tackles. Freshman Jacob Valenzuela did a great job on the night both throwing the ball and his running ability. Even though the score shows a lopsided game, we must clean things up and get our timing down in order to compete in the next two weeks versus Hughson and Los Banos.

“Defensively, we played well all night long, just giving up one touchdown on one big play,” Martins continued. “Freshman Nick Cuevas stepped up on defense by leading us in tackles and coming up with a couple of big plays and one turnover. We are young at some spots and a little bit inexperienced on the defensive line, but our kids are stepping up and I think in a couple of weeks, we should have good depth to where we hopefully don’t have to play too many kids both ways.”

Valenzuela threw for 111 yards, rushing for 79 yards with four touchdowns in total. Esquivez ran for 47 yards and had 34 receiving for two touchdowns. Felber chipped in with 53 receiving and a touchdown, while Mar accounted for 25 rushing yards and 15 receiving yards with a touchdown.

Cuevas led the defense with nine tackles and a fumble recovery. Esquivez had a hand in five tackles. While Nate Perez and Mar each collected four tackles.

Next week the Warriors will face off against the Hughson Huskies a team that comes with size, speed and big play abilities.

“This week will be about fine-tuning assignments and tackling drills to ensure we don’t give up the big plays,” Martins said.

The JV Warriors play the Hughson Huskies at home at 5:30 p.m. Friday.