The Orestimba Warriors kicked off their 2019 season with a one-sided 49-7 victory over Bret Harte last Friday night.
After a scoreless opening quarter, the floodgates opened in the second as the Warriors stunned the Bullfrogs with 36 points before halftime.
Head Coach Aaron Souza commented that he was pleased with the overall effort and fire the team had Friday.
For the first quarter of the game the Warriors had a bit of a struggle to getting their offense started and moving smoothly - but then Orestimba took control.
“It’s the first game, with 10 new starters on offense,” said Souza. “The jitters and nerves kick in.”
Once nerves calmed, the Warriors enjoyed smooth sailing the rest of the way and everybody had the opportunity to see playing time as OHS pulled away.
Orestimba began the second quarter barrage with a 20-yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Anthony Casillas. Zack Cabral’s kick made it 7-0.
The defensive unit came onto the field ready to hit. Abram Davis, one of the Warriors’ defensive leaders put two points on the board when he disrupted a Bret Harte punt attempt, shedding a blocker to tackle the punter in the end zone.
“The game really changed on the Davis safety,” Souza told Mattos Newspapers. “Then on the ensuing drive we scored again and then it kind of snowballed from there.”
Orestimba ran with the momentum and never looked back, putting on a show for the home crowd.
Marcus Navarro, who opened his senior season with a 100-yard plus rushing game, made it 15-0 on a 15-yard run.
Casillas then started to click through the air.
He hit sophomore Jayden Vargas on a 52-yard scoring strike as the Warriors extended their lead to 22-0.
Casillas then teamed up with Joe Matteri for a 36-yard touchdown pass.
The Bullfrogs answered with a highlight play for the evening, returning the ensuring kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown.
But the Warriors were far from done.
Tight end C.J. Kinimaka hauled in a 33-yard touchdown pass from Casillas to send Orestimba into the break with a 36-7 lead.
Third quarter touchdown runs by Navarro (25 yards) and Xavier Avila (18 yards) wrapped up the scoring for the night.
For the deep ball or run game to succeed the offensive linemen are the guys who open up the holes and give the quarterback enough time to find receivers.
The line play was solid overall, Souza said.
“We made some good steps Friday” he said of the line. “They got going and started moving the pile.”
The defense, which is loaded with returning starters, lived up to expectations.
Souza said Warrior defenders were flying to the ball in waves, with three to four players involved in most tackles.
Navarro had a big night with 11 carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns to lead the ground game. “He had a great off-season. We’re expecting great things from him” said Souza.
Vargas, the speedy sophomore receiver, also had a great performance Friday night, hauling in four catches for 90 yards and one touchdown.
“We have high expectations for him despite the fact that he’s only a sophomore. In his first varsity game he played the part,” Souza told Mattos Newspapers.
Casillas impressed as well in his varsity debut, needing just six completions to account for 193 yards and three touchdowns.
“He made a couple key throws, and was very efficient. He did a great job distributing the ball to different receivers,” commented Souza.
Orestimba’s defense kept the Bullfrogs well in check. Junior Mario Garcia came off the bench to have a hand in seven tackles for the Warriors. Davis, the senior defensive leader, was involved in six tackles - including five of the solo variety and three for losses. Junior Save and John Landeros also had a hand in six tackles.
Overall, Souza gave the Warriors solid marks for their season opener.
“I was really happy about our effort, and the way we started playing team football,” said Souza. “We caused turnovers, got stops, converted on third downs and scored points.”
A tougher test awaits Friday, when the Warriors head to Hughson to square off against the talented Huskies.
“We’re going to find out where we are right now after playing them,” Souza remarked. “ We’re going to find out what kind of team we are and how much work we have to do.”
The Warriors will be on the road for the next month (with a one bye week thrown into the mix), and will not play at home again until hosting Le Grand on Sept. 27.