In a match between former foes in the Delta league, the Monterey Trail Mustangs sped past the Sheldon Huskies in the first week of the 2018 football season.
Sheldon started off the game with a fumble on its second offense play of the game, which gave Monterey Trail great field position.
The Mustangs moved the ball down field and were attempting a 37-yd field goal, but it was blocked by the Huskies and returned by senior wide receiver/defensive back Dillon Juniel for a 73-yard touchdown.
Sheldon had a 6-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Mustangs got on the scoreboard for the first time this season at the beginning of the second quarter when senior running back/linebacker Thaddeus Hills had a three-yard rushing touchdown.
Monterey Trail’s defense controlled the Sheldon offense all night long.
Huskies head football coach Joe Cattolico heavily put the blame upon himself for his teams’ offensive play.
“We weren’t well prepared for the ball game,” Cattolico said. “We played a football team that did a really good job tonight.”
He added that he didn’t do a good job on calling plays and said he needed to do a better job to put his team into positions in which his team can be more effective.
The Mustang offense score 27 unanswered points to put itself up 27-6 at the end of the first half.
With just over a minute left in the first half, two players from Sheldon were ejected and that resulted in 30 penalty yards that would help Monterey Trail score once more to end the half.
Senior running back/defensive back Jehiel Budgett scored two of his four total rushing touchdowns in the second quarter on rushes of 12 and 16-yards.
With Budgett being one of the 17 seniors on Monterey Trail’s roster, Mustangs head football coach T.J. Ewing was happy with his senior leaders.
He elaborated on ups and downs like the blocked field goal in the first quarter as a “shocking revelation”.
“It was awesome to see our kids’ resolve and not be negative,” Ewing said.
Budgett added two more rushing touchdowns in the third quarter to put the game out of reach for Sheldon.
Junior quarterback/ defensive back Zachary Larrier got the offense rolling in the second quarter with the veer offense that the Mustangs run.
To set up the second touchdown of the night for Monterey Trail, Larrier faced a third down and 11 yards to go and threw a 32-yard over the shoulder pass to senior wide receiver/ defensive back Andre Crump to give the Mustangs a first down deep in Huskies territory.
Larrier would later score on the two ejection and the 30 personal foul penalty yards from the Huskies at the end of the first half with a two-yard rushing touchdown.
The humble quarterback gave a lot of credit to his offensive line for giving him a lot of time to be able to throw.
“It’s ridiculous,” Larrier said. “Every quarterback is good when the O-line gives you time.”
He added that him and his teammates have been looking forward to tonight because they haven’t beaten Sheldon since any of them have been enrolled at Monterey Trail.
In the third quarter, Larrier broke up a pass play that just touched his finger tips and would have had a clear path for an interception touchdown.
“I have to run through the ball,” Larrier said. “I gave up a touchdown on the exact same play, so this year I wasn’t going to let it happen.”
He added that he watched a lot of film so when he saw the set the Huskies were in, he was ready.
Sheldon will look to bounce back next week as they will host the Burbank Titans.
Cattolico said a positive from tonight is to see how his players will response next week because life is about “who you are and what you are when you are down”.
The Mustangs will go onto the road and play the San Ramon Valley Wolves in Danville Friday.