Gustine came into Friday’s game against visiting Mariposa fresh off their first win of the season and with designs on improving to 2-0 in league play.
But the Grizzlies had the upper hand from the start, building a big lead in the first half and going on to a 31-0 win over the Reds.
Gustine struggled to find offensive traction, while Mariposa methodically moved the football and took advantage of miscues by the Reds.
“They didn’t make mistakes and we did,” said head coach Ronnie LaBry. “They were able to score a lot of points quickly.”
When the Reds did have scoring opportunities, LaBry added, they were thwarted by turnovers.
“We shot ourselves in the foot,” LaBry commented.
The Grizzlies scored on their first possession of the night to take a 7-0 lead midway through the opening quarter.
Gustine looked poised to answer on its following drive. A 25-yard completion from Jonathan Martin to Trenton Cremeen allowed the Reds to escape a third-and-20 hole. That took Gustine out to their own 45 and the Reds moved the chains again to move into Mariposa territory, only to see an interception end the drive.
Mariposa then went 75 yards for its second touchdown of the night, which came on a 35-yard run with nine minutes left in the half.
Gustine was unable to halt the damage, giving up a field goal with four minutes left in the half.
A Gustine turnover moments later set up a 44-yard Mariposa scoring strike, sending the Grizzlies into intermission with a solid 24-0 lead.
Mariposa added a second-half touchdown while keeping the Reds off the scoreboard.
Gustine picked up nearly 250 yards of total offense but was unable to sustain drives.
Martin completed eight of 15 pass attempts for 127 yards. Sophomore Mateo Gallichio had three catches for 55 yards, while Cremeen finished with three receptions for 50 yards.
Cristopher Meneses led Gustine’s rushing attack, grinding out 42 hard-fought yards on eight carries. Jose Rios got the call 13 times, picking up 28 yards.
Gallichio led the Gustine defense with seven tackles, including two for losses, and a sack.
Cremeen and Patrick Broderick were each involved in six tackles.
Gustine continues Southern League play Friday at Denair. The Reds take a 1-1 league mark into the contest.
For the Reds, improvement is a weekly goal.
“All I ask is that we try to get better every week,” LaBry remarked. “We are still a very young team, and we are going to go through our growing pains.”