MODESTO — For San Ramon Valley, time will tell if it was worth it Thursday night to play on short rest, take a long bus ride and kick off in 100-degree heat.
The Wolves lost to Central Catholic-Modesto 21-14 in a contest they could have, and maybe should have won.
They had a 46-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter called back because of a holding penalty. They turned the ball over at the Central Catholic 6 in the final minute of the first half when a Raider defender stripped the SRV receiver of the ball. However, a video clearly showed the SRV player was down before he lost the ball.
A field goal to end the first half and seven points if that fourth-quarter touchdown wasn’t called back, and SRV quite possibly wins.
“We had our good moments tonight,” SRV coach Aaron Becker said, “but we had enough other moments that cost us the game.”
PREP FOOTBALL WEEK 3 COVERAGE
- Preview: Week 3’s top matchups, schedule
- Passing the eye test: Can St. Francis pose a threat to DLS?
- Predictions: Darren Sabedra, Evan Webeck, Mike Lefkow pick Week 3’s top games
- Football rankings: Bay Area News Group Top 25
- Monday Morning Lights: What happened to Campolindo?
- Playing for Jaedah: DLS star dominates in honor of slain ‘sister’
- Where to find our Week 2 content
Nevertheless, the Bay Area News Group’s fourth-ranked Wolves (1-1) were fairly upbeat when the game was over.
“I think for sure our team will go back to practice, hit the weight room and watch film, and get ready for next week,” wide receiver/strong safety Tanner Salisbury said of next Friday’s visit to Antioch. “For sure we’re not going to put this game behind us, but we’re going to get better off this.”
It was a close game, as the stats suggested. San Ramon Valley totaled 348 yards and Central Catholic had 330. The contrast was in how they got them.
San Ramon Valley tallied 276 yards through the air and 72 rushing. Senior quarterback Jack Quigley was 22-of-45. He threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Caden Riley in the first quarter that gave the Wolves a 7-0 lead, and he connected with tight end Tyler Hoffman on a 17-yard score with 7.3 seconds left in the third period for what turned out to be the game’s final points.
Between SRV’s two touchdowns, Central Catholic (3-0), which totaled 249 rushing yards and 81 passing, scored 21 unanswered points. A 36-yard option pass from wideout Tyler Jacklich to fellow receiver Sebastian Guzman allowed the teams to go in tied at halftime. Two quick scores in the third period put the Raiders up 21-7.
Jacklich’s 47-yard touchdown run, a beauty in which he went Beastmode and broke numerous tackles, gave the Raiders their first lead at 14-7. Central Catholic scored again on its next drive, with Aiden Taylor going in from the 2.
San Ramon Valley came right back with an 80-yard march in 10 plays, capped by Hoffman’s leaping grab in the right corner of the end zone with a Raider defender draped all over him. That made it a one-score game with 7.3 seconds left before the fourth quarter.
It appeared Central Catholic would put the game out of reach on its second possession of the final period. The Raiders went from their own 38 and had a second-and-goal at the SRV 4 when they fumbled on a run. The Wolves recovered at the 1.
Eleven plays later, all in just over two minutes, SRV was at the Central Catholic 25 with a first down. Quigley threw three passes. One was incomplete. One was batted down by the CC defense. One was caught for no yardage. On 4th-and-10, Quigley was sacked, and Central Catholic ran out the clock.
Quigley was clutch for much of the drive. He threw a 19-yard completion to Jordan Lewis on fourth-and-10 from the 1, and he scampered for 15 yards on a first down to bring the Wolves to the CC 25.
The last drive sort of epitomized what SRV has been in two games. Obviously talented. But still a work in progress.
“I’m proud of their effort tonight,” Becker said. “But we misfired a few times.”
This game came about on short notice. Both teams had to cancel contests on Aug. 27 because of poor air quality. SRV was supposed to host Vintage. Central Catholic had a home game against St. Francis.
Since both teams had open dates this weekend, they decided to play each other. SRV likely won’t have a tougher opponent until it plays at Clayton Valley Charter on Oct. 15.
“Central Catholic is a tough team, and we didn’t do quite enough to come out on top,” Becker said. “But you hope it prepares you for the tough games we’ll have down the road.”