Visiting Hilmar, one of the valley’s perennial football powerhouses, lived up to its billing Friday at Gustine’s expense.
The Yellowjackets spoiled Gustine’s home opener with a one-sided 42-0 victory.
All the scoring came in the first half.
Hilmar struck for two touchdowns in the first quarter, and then put the game away with a 28-point outburst in the second quarter.
Gustine moved the ball at times on the ground, but scoring opportunities were few and far between for the home team.
“They are by far one of the best teams in the section,” said Gustine head coach Ronnie LaBry. “Hilmar is just a different breed.”
There were some highlights for the Reds.
A pair of sophomores, Mateo Gallichio and Christian Garcia, stepped up to lead the Gustine defense with seven tackles each. Gallichio had two tackles for losses.
“The good thing was that we never stopped playing,” said LaBry. “Our kids didn’t give up.”
Gustine’s offense was never able to establish a passing attack, but did finish with 115 rushing yards. Quarterback Jonathan Martin accounted for most of that total, taking off five times for 50 yards. Jose Rios ground out a touch 37 yards on 11 carries, Danny Hernandez picked up 19 yards on the night and Ismael Amescua accounted for nine rushing yards.
Brandon Peralta and John Toste Jr. each contributed defensively with three tackles.
Gustine will wrap up the pre-league portion of its schedule Friday when Morro Bay visits the West Side.
LaBry said the game is an opportunity to set a positive tone going into league play the following week at Delhi.
In particular, the Reds will be looking to establish consistency and productivity from an offense which has scored one touchdown in two games.
“We have to get our running game going and that should open up our passing game. I think we’ll be all right,” LaBry reflected. “It is very important that we play well Friday. We want to get that ‘W’ before we start league to get a little momentum going.”