Lodi, Galt get their feet wet in 7-on-7

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - By Mike Bush NEWS-SEN­TINEL SPORTS WRITER

Lodi High foot­ball coach Ge­orge Due­nas feels one year makes a dif­fer­ence.

Galt High foot­ball coach Tim Cobleigh thinks hard work and tougher op­po­nents will pay off down the road.

On Tues­day, Due­nas’ Flames and Cobleigh’s War­riors, along with the Stagg High foot­ball team, met at Don Womble Field on the Lodi High cam­pus for 7-on-7 pass­ing games against each other. This was the first non­con­tact games for the three squads in prepa­ra­tion for the up­com­ing sea­son.

“It was nice to get out there for awhile,” Due­nas said. “See what our drops look like on de­fense. It’s al­ways nice to get good com­pe­ti­tion.”

Lodi scrim­maged Stagg first, fol­lowed by Galt. Stagg man­aged to score once on the Flames’ de­fense, but Lodi picked off the foot­ball twice; one each from de­fen­sive back Vinny Montgomery and safety Logan Stout.

“The big­gest take­away we got is we are bet­ter de­fen­sively than we were go­ing into the sea­son last year,” Due­nas said. “He (Stout) looked pretty good. He’s ag­gres­sive. He’s a ball-hog.”

At this time in 2018, Due­nas was just named the new Lodi foot­ball coach, tak­ing over for Robert Sper­ling, who re­signed ear­lier in the year be­cause of health rea­sons.

The Flames had no 7-on-7 games last sum­mer. The time was spent in work­ing out in the weight room and learn­ing a new of­fense in the pis­tol wing-T and 3-4 base de­fense. Lodi fin­ished the sea­son at 37, but lost three games by less than a touchdown.

“It’s nice to see that one year can change,” Due­nas said. “Last year we were just teach­ing. Right now we’re just fix­ing.”

The of­fense, Due­nas noted, showed im­prove­ment as well. Play­ers ran their routes or stayed behind to pro­vide pro­tec­tion for Stout, a three-year

starter at quar­ter­back.

“I thought they all played pretty well, of­fen­sively,” Due­nas said. “I was re­ally im­pressed, of this be­ing our first 7 on 7. I know Galt is more of a run­ning team like we are. It was nice to see what they (Stagg) can do.”

Lodi will host Stagg in a non-league game at the Grape Bowl on Fri­day, Sept. 13.

Cobleigh, who is also in his sec­ond sea­son at the Galt helm, was as happy as a kid open­ing presents on Christ­mas Day.

“(Tues­day) was just about getting out­side and putting to work all of the things that we’ve been work­ing on in the spring,” Cobleigh said. “The kids were itch­ing to get out on the field. It was a great op­por­tu­nity to get out there and do some work.”

Galt’s of­fense squared off against Lodi’s de­fense. Behind three-year start­ing quar­ter­back Robert Bu­la­han Jr., now a se­nior, back-up quar­ter­back Vic­tor Garcia and wide re­ceiver Marcelo Lopez, the War­riors’ of­fense, which is the spread wing-T, helped move the ball well against the Flames’ de­fense.

“Marcelo looked great as usual,” Cobleigh said. “Robert did a great job.”

The Warrior coach was also pleased with the per­for­mance of Kenny Tran, a ju­nior run­ning back who played on last year’s ju­nior var­sity squad.

“We’ve been mov­ing some guys around; just peo­ple getting touches and work­ing the of­fense a lit­tle bit,” Cobleigh said.

On de­fense, the War­riors are plan­ning to use the 4-2-5 and 4-4 base sets. Seeing many teams run­ning the spread and pis­tol of­fenses last sea­son. Galt started the 2018 sea­son at 4-1 in the pre-sea­son, but lost all of its Sierra Val­ley Con­fer­ence games to fin­ish at 4-6.

“We’re work­ing some new sys­tems with the same ter­mi­nol­ogy out there,” Cobleigh said. “De­fense is where we wanted to get some work done. Some of it is kind of new; a lot of zone cov­er­ages that we’re work­ing on.

In mid-Au­gust, Galt will take part in Lodi’s four-way scrim­mage that will in­clude Pat­ter­son and River City of West Sacra­mento. Then Galt will host Wood­land Chris­tian at the re­vamped Warrior Sta­dium on Fri­day, Aug. 23, fol­lowed by an­other non-league game against Sum­merville. Then the War­riors play at Lin­den, Val­ley and Mira Loma, both of Sacra­mento.

All four Lodi area high school foot­ball teams — Lodi, Tokay, Galt and Liberty Ranch — are stay­ing busy with 7-on-7 pass­ing drills this month.

To­day at Hub­bard Field start­ing at 6 p.m., Tokay will be hold­ing its sec­ond and fi­nal Thursday Night Lights. Tokay will com­pete against Liberty Ranch, Lathrop and Val­ley.

On Fri­day, Lodi and Tokay will take part in the one-day Stagg Pass­ing Tour­na­ment. On Satur­day, June 22, Lodi will com­pete in an­other 7-on-7 pass­ing tour­na­ment at Delta Col­lege.

From June 18 to 21, Tokay will take part at the an­nual Lake Ta­hoe Foot­ball Camp. For­mer Tokay High foot­ball coach Louis Franklin, who is now the South Ta­hoe coach, runs the non-con­tact camp.

Galt will com­pete at the Foothill High Tour­na­ment, also 7-on-7, in Sacra­mento that’s also on June 22.

By the end of this month, Cobleigh is hop­ing to have his War­riors host one 7on-7 game. On Tues­day, Galt Joint Union High Dis­trict of­fi­cials and board mem­bers held a rib­bon-cut­ting cer­e­mony of the Erv Hatzen­buh­ler Field of Warrior Sta­dium, which now turf field, all­weather track, new grand­stands and press box.

But ac­cord­ing to Wil­liam Spald­ing, the school dis­trict’s su­per­in­ten­dent, the white lanes on the all-weather track are to be painted be­fore the end of this week, plus ce­ment walk way on the vis­i­tor’s side of the sta­dium. The Erv Hatzen­buh­ler Field sign is ex­pected to be in place in time be­fore Galt opens against Wood­land Chris­tian.

Liberty Ranch, Galt’s sec­ond high school, will host Lodi in a 7-on-7 pass­ing game at Hawks Sta­dium next Wed­nes­day. The two schools meet again at Don Womble Field on Wed­nes­day, June 26.


Galt quar­ter­back Robert Bu­la­han Jr. looks down the field while run­ning back Kenny Tran pro­vides pro­tec­tion as Lodi out­side line­backer Nathan Shoup (33) closes in dur­ing their 7on-7 pass­ing game at Don Womble Field on Lodi High’s cam­pus on Tues­day.

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