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Spartans show fight with second-half effort
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FAIR OAKS — It would have been easy for the Lathrop Spartans to roll over after heading into the locker room down 35-0 against the undefeated Bella Vista Broncos Friday.

But head coach Jesse Rodriguez wasn’t about to let that happen.

On top of holding the Broncos to just a field goal in the game’s final 24 minutes, Lathrop managed to score two touchdowns – the first coming when Elijah Cash connected with David Fonseca on a play-action fake that resulted in a 32-yard touchdown.

Xavier Walden would also reach pay dirt when he powered in from two yards out to increase the Spartans’ single-game scoring this year to 14.

“There’s a lot to be excited about in the way that we played tonight,” Rodriguez said. “In the first half we just killed ourselves – we shot ourselves in the foot and that was too much for us to recover from.

“Our kids were intimidated by their size at first but that was something that we overcame right away, and from that point forward we competed for the remainder of the game.”

The Spartans (0-5) will again take to the road next Friday when they travel to Sacramento to take on Christian Brothers.

Turlock Christian 27, Ripon Christian 21
In Turlock, Ripon Christian (2-3) had a late touchdown called back because of a penalty, and Turlock Christian (4-1) was able to ice it with a score.

“It was a close one – we excelled at a lot of things, and we had a great long touchdown pass that we thought was going to win the game for us but it ended up getting called back,” Ripon Christian head coach John Vander Schaaf said. “We had some big receptions by Clayton Prins, who also did a great job at defensive back for us tonight.

“We got a good game up front from our defensive line, and now we’ll just have to go back and work on executing before we open league next week against Escalon.”

The Knights held the lead on the drive that would end with the negated touchdown, putting the ball into Turlock Christian’s hands to force them to make the play necessary to win the game.

“They put that final drive together of over 50 yards, and we were just unable to stop them,” Vander Schaaf said. “My hat goes off to them for making it happen when it counted the most.
—Jason Campbell