For the third straight week the Pacheco High School Panther football team hit the road, this time on Sept. 9, to face the Division One powerhouse Tracy Bulldogs.

The local squad held its own in the first half of the contest, trailing only 14-7 at halftime.

After Bulldog quarterback Aidan Vanos connected with Isaac Salinas on two touchdown scoring passes, Tracy opened a 14-0 lead.

The Panthers closed the gap to 14-7 with just 33 seconds remaining in the first half.  Pacheco’s leading rusher, Abel Bravo, followed a crushing block by Alex Navarro into the endzone from three yards out. Enrique Contreras added the PAT kick as time ran out in the second period. 

That score instilled confidence in the Panthers, as they prepared for the second half of the game.

The momentum would not carry over into the second half for the Panthers. The Los Banos team never crossed the goal line again and Tracy’s premier running back Tommy Haynes scored four second-half touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs to a 41-7 victory.

The Bulldogs were able to nullify the running attack of the Panthers, limiting Abel Bravo to 82 yards on 19 carries and Daniel Scott to just 18 yards on five carries. Panther quarterback Aiden Huerta completed 4 of 7 passes for a total of 43 yards.

Despite the lopsided score, the Panthers did have some fine individual performances on defense, as Arturo Anguiano recorded a game high nine tackles. Eduardo Quiroz added seven tackles, and Gabriel Setterberg, Brandon De Reza, Anthony Medina and Josue Pena each had five stops for Pacheco.

The Panthers will hit the road for the fourth straight week on Sept. 16 when they travel to Modesto to battle Johansen to open their 2022 Western Athletic Conference schedule.

Pacheco’s junior varsity suffers shutout

The junior varsity Panthers did not fare any better than their varsity counterparts, dropping a 35-0 decision to the Bulldogs.

The young Panthers could do virtually nothing offensively against Tracy.

Freshman quarterback Aiden Pikas was able to complete two long passes for 43 yards, one each to Jared Raspberry for 22 yards and another for 21 yards to Avelino Santiago.  Last week’s Westside Express “Player of the Week” Zealand Hatcher was held in check, with only four yards all game.

Hatcher said after the game, “They completely dominated us all game long They are a really fine football team.”

Michael Martin