The Sierra High Timberwolves made plenty of the right reads at Friday’s homecoming game against East Union.
Both quarterbacks – Jake Pruitt and Guillermo Nunez – broke loose for long touchdown runs and running back Anthony Cota was back to his old ways, scoring four times in the 63-7 lopsided Valley Oak League win.
“After last week’s loss (to Oakdale), we really challenged our players this week in practice,” Sierra coach Jeff Harbison said.
They responded almost immediately following the opening kickoff.
On their first possession, the Timberwolves (1-1, 4-1) came through with the quick score. Pruitt found room along the sideline, racing 55 yards.
Next, they orchestrated a 14-play drive, with Cota punching the ball in from the 2 off the direct snap.
Joshua Gonzalez’s extra-point kick made it 14-0, Sierra.
Cota was just warming up. He proceeded to score on touchdowns of 1-, 5- and 1- yard runs.
His last one at the 2:36 mark of the second quarter was set up by nifty 34-yard catch by D’Ari Allen at the Lancer 1. Prior to that, Pruitt hit Bryson Sanders on a 29-yard completion.
The Sierra defense, in addition, did its part by forcing East Union in to third-and-long situations. Anthony Thiel and Angel Villanueva both contributed with sacks.
As for Pruitt, he was efficient, completing 14 of his 16 first-half passes for 216 yards. His outing was highlighted by a 10-yard scoring strike to Dakota Conners shortly before the break.
Down 42-0, the Lancers (0-2, 1-4) were hoping to reverse the tide.
“There was no quitting in our guys,” EU coach Willie Herrera said.
Trying to stop Nunez was another matter. On Sierra’s first possession in the second half, he capped off a 59-yard drive by hitting Conners on a 41-yard bomb.
The next time he touched the ball, Nunez scooted past the defense, going 17 yards on the score.
He saved his best for last, racing 71 yards for that final Timberwolves’ TD late in the third.
“We worked on making the right reads in practice,” Harbison said.
East Union forced a second-half turnover but was unable to capitalize.
The Lancers did avoid the shutout when running back Mark Aguilar went 49 yards on his TD run late in the game.
“We’re hoping to build off the good things we did tonight,” Herrera added.