receiver Lucas Curtis (11) reaches the ball out while diving for the end zone against Cosumnes Oaks on Friday night.
Turlock senior running back Lucas Curtis ran through a couple of Cosumnes Oaks defenders and dragged them with him en route to an 8-yard touchdown run with 35 seconds left in the first quarter.
The heavy load was nothing compared to the weight of playing without starting quarterback Jonah Kosakiewicz and wide receiver Cameran Sherwood.
Curtis and the Bulldogs (8-3), however, were up to the challenge as they blanked the 4-7 Wolfpack 28-0 in the first round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs on Friday at Joe Debely Stadium.
“There weren’t a lot of differences,” Curtis said. “That’s the thing about us. We have so much depth. We know whoever got put in, they just had to do their job and we did it.”
Kosakiewicz was out with an ankle injury. Sherwood left the game early with flu-like symptoms.
Highlights: Turlock 28 Cosumnes Oaks 0
Curtis did his job as he rushed for 93 yards on 14 carries and had three rushing touchdowns. He had a 2-yard touchdown run up the middle in the third quarter and broke a couple of tackles for an 18-yard score in the fourth.
“He is a strong-willed kid,” Turlock coach James Peterson said. “He doesn’t back down from anybody. He has worked hard this year to be the guy.”
Kosakiewicz was still battling an ankle injury suffered late in the Bulldogs’ win over Pitman last week and while he suited up, Peterson said he “wasn’t 100-percent” and opted to start junior Brock Paslay instead.
It wasn’t the smoothest of starts for Paslay as he was intercepted on his first pass attempt. But he bounced back and had a 23-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Casey Carr in the second quarter.
Carr was in the game after Sherwood left in the first quarter.
It’s the next man up mentality that makes the Bulldogs’ offense so effective.
“He (Carr) plays middle linebacker for us,” Peterson said. “I don’t know where he learned to catch the ball like that. (Tonight), it wasn’t perfect, guys were making mistakes but we rallied around those guys.”
Turlock’s defense was ready as it pitched a shutout for the second straight week. The Bulldogs held the Wolfpack to 135 total yards and 78 rushing yards on 2.4 yards per carry.
“They were throwing the screen all night and our guys rallied and tackled the guy when they needed to,” Peterson said. “The defense just finished on every play.”
During their six-game winning streak, the No. 6-seed Bulldogs have scored over 28 points in every game. Turlock will travel to El Dorado Hills next week to face thirdseeded Oak Ridge.
“Something has clicked this year,” Curtis said. “No matter who is in, they are going to do their job.”
Division I Sheldon 27, Modesto 14: The Panthers, who were shut out in the first half, finished the year at 5-6.
Division IV Oakdale 54, Valley 6: The Mustangs showed little sign of impact after their loss to Central Catholic a week before as they blew past the Vikings of Sacrmento. Fifth-seeded Oakdale (8-3) travels to No. 4-seed Wood in the second round.
Patterson 48, Rosemont 21: The Tigers blew open a tight game with 20 straight points in the third quarter and running backs Jordan Imada and Obidiah Godbolt combined for more than 400 yards rushing. Imada gained 244 yards on 24 carries and scored three times while Godbolt rushed for 173 yards and three touchdowns on just eight carries.
Imada had two 9-yard TD runs and Goldbolt a 73-yarder in the decisive third quarter that saw Patterson ( 7-4) move ahead 41-14. The Tigers travel to Orangevale to play Casa Roble (9-1) on Friday in the second round. Division VI Waterford 51, Rio Vista 44: The 12th-seeded Wildcats ( 7-4) scored 37 points in the fourth quarter — 31 straights points in the final six minutes — to stun the No. 5 Rams (9-2).
Rio Vista went ahead 44-20 with seven minutes left before Waterford pulled off what was seemingly an impossible comeback.
Quarterback Michael Vivo had two straight touchdown passes, and the Wildcats converted two straight two-point conversions to make it 44-36 with three minutes left.
A short time later, Vivo rushed for a touchdown, and Waterford converted the two-point conversion to tie it. Then, with under a minute left, Vivo scored again to win it.
He passed for four touchdowns and three for three others.
In the second round. Waterford visits Ripon Christian, which beat the Wildcats 42-6 in Week 2.
Amador 37, Hughson 14: The Huskies, under first-year coach Shaun King, saw their season end at 5-6 following a loss to the Buffaloes. Amador scored 23 unanswered points in the second half.
Turlock running back Anthony Frias (21) runs through multiple Cosumnes Oaks defenders during the two teams’ Division I CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoff game at Turlock High School Friday.