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Lodi goes down in flames at SHS field
SAT sierra photo story 1 copy
Sierras Mark Paule Jr. makes head way against a Lodi defender. - photo by SEAN KAHLER/The Bulletin

The Sierra High defense rose to the occasion on Friday.

In the 20-7 non-league victory over Lodi at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium, the Timberwolves (2-1) consistently kept the pressure on the Flames.

Senior defensive end Andrew Guevara led the sack attack – Sierra had eight altogether – with five stops in the Lodi backfield.

“We all did our jobs (in rushing the quarterback),” he said. “As a team, we showed a lot of heart.”

Neither team was able to muster much on offense.

Both early scores came on big plays.

In Sierra’s first possession, quarterback Mark Vicente hit Tim Brown on a short slant route on the third play from scrimmage. The senior wide receiver found a seam from there, racing past the Flame defense on the 53-yard touchdown play.

 Marcos Castillo’s extra point kick made it 7-0.

The scored stayed that way through halftime despite the Timberwolves thrice having the short field in which to work with during the second quarter.

“Penalties made it difficult on our offense,” Sierra coach Jeff Harbison said. “There were a lot of penalties called on both teams.”

 The Flames’ only score came on the first play of the second half.

After the Timberwolves’ Daniel Wyatt put together a nifty opening kickoff return – tack on another 15-yard penalty called on Lodi – the Sierra offense was pushed back and eventually forced punt.

The Flames were pinned down inside of their 10 yard line. No matter – on the first play, Elijah McDowell swept past the Timberwolves’ defense, finding room along the right side while going 94 yards for the score.

“If you take that one play out, our defense did a great job,” Harbison said.

Tied 7-7, Sierra responded with a time-consuming, nearly six-and-a -half minute drive.

Senior running back Mark Paule, who was kept in check during the first half, took several direct snaps from center, finding room at times to tally the bulk of his 55 yards on 25 carries.

 Vicente found Jimmy Galindo open on the long pass play, setting up Castillo’s 1-yard scoring plunge.

Sierra was able to get a little breathing room in the fourth as Vicente again connected with Galindo, who caught three passes for 121 yards. This time it was a 47-yard scoring bomb that provided the final outcome.

The Timberwolves’ defense took care of the rest.

Besides Guevara, senior defensive tackle Joshua Fala registered a pair of sacks.

“Even though our offense finally clicked in the second half, we need to be more consistent,” Harbison said.