Welcome to your Bulldog’s news page. We will bring you up-to-date information as it becomes available! We look forward to a great season! Go Bulldogs!
September 23, 2022 (Bye Week) ~ PowderPuff Football on September 22, 2022, 6 pm. Come out and support the THS Senior and Junior Girls
**Tickets Must Be Purchased in Advance for JV and Varsity**
Bulldogs: Away Game @ Pitman, September 30, 2022, @Joe Debely Stadium (HARVEST BOWL). Game times are JV @ 5 pm. Varsity @ 7 pm. Wear your Blue and Gold and support your Turlock Bulldogs.
Freshmen: Home game vs. Pitman (Freshman Harvest Bowl), September 29, 2022, @ 6 pm. Wear your Blue and Gold and support your Turlock Bulldogs.
Turlock Hangs on to Beat Clayton Valley Charter in a Thriller
September 16, 2022
In Friday night’s matchup, the Turlock Bulldogs hit the road to wrap up non-conference play against the Clayton Valley Charter Ugly Eagles. Despite giving up the opening kickoff, the Bulldogs grinded out Friday’s win 35-33, Turlock’s first-ever win over the Ugly Eagles.
Turlock gave up the opening kickoff and trailed 7-0 only 14 seconds into the ballgame. But that didn’t stop the Turlock offense from driving down the field tying the game 7-7 with an Andrew Johnson receiving touchdown.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Bulldogs learned their lesson kicking it deep and onsided the ball. The Bulldogs recovered. This resulted in a run-dominant Turlock drive topped off with a Vicent Gonzales touchdown run on a third and short to increase the Turlock lead.
But, Clayton Valley did not go down quietly. They had a drive right before the half to cut into Turlock’s lead, the Bulldogs led 21-14 at the half.
After a quick three-and-out by the Turlock offense to start the second half, Clayton Valley took advantage of Turlock’s slow start and tied the game minutes into the third quarter.
But as Turlock did all night, they responded. A convincing drive was almost spoiled by a bad snap on the goal line which resulted in a fourth and goal. But it was no problem. On the crucial 4th down, Cole Gilbert found his tight end, Joshua Weatherbee, in the back of the end zone to take a 28-21 lead midway through the 4th quarter.
With a strong passing game, Clayton Valley drove down the field quickly and scored. However, a heads-up play by Turlock’s Logan Durkee, who blocked the extra point, protected Turlock’s lead, 28-27.
As this game was full of responses, both teams had a few more in them. A drive led by running back, JT Foreman, led Turlock down the field, while chewing a bulk of the clock. After a big night on the ground, JT broke out for a dagger touchdown run giving Turlock the lead 35-27. Foreman was a shoe-lace tackle away from breaking out a big run on multiple occasions last night. Foreman explained the build-up, as well as the payoff when he finally broke free on his crucial fourth-quarter touchdown.
“It’s like a momentum I feel each time I carry it. Once it came to halftime and I saw a little bit of film, I noticed the holes created by the linemen, which did a great job last night. Then I took advantage of it in the third and fourth quarter,” Foreman said.
But the game was not over quite yet. Clayton Valley responded with a deep ball to cut into Turlock’s lead 35-33, with a two-point conversion on deck. But the Turlock defense came up big again, with a stop in Clayton Valley’s attempt to tie the game. Clayton Valley attempted an onside kick of their own but it was unsuccessful.
Driving, the Bulldogs tried to seal the game on a 4th-and-2 in Clayton Valley’s territory but came up short.
Clayton Valley got the ball back with 47 seconds left in the game, down 35-33. With no timeouts, they got down the field once again with a big play. Clayton Valley spiked the ball just past midfield in Turlock territory, with 10 seconds left in an attempt to set up a game-winning hail mary pass. Turlock safety, Andrew Johnson, came up with a huge defensive interception to seal the Turlock win, though the clock hit 00:00, the game was not over. There was a late penalty call for roughing the passer, which moved Clayton Valley 15-yards closer to the endzone. But it was no problem for the Turlock defense, who stopped Clayton Valley on a screen for the final play of the ball game, Turlock hung on to win 35-33.
“Once I saw [Andrew] Johnson’s interception, I looked at the clock and saw it hit 0’s, I was super excited because we won the game,” Weatherbee said. “But then I saw the referees call a penalty on us, and it was a sense of, alright we just have got to do it again.
Though faced with adversity, the Turlock defense knew they had to get the job done regardless, no matter how long the game would last.
“It felt like the night would never end,” Head Coach James Peterson joked. “I’m proud of our boys. I thought it was great how the defense ended the game, they came up with two big stops.”
Overcoming adversity and fighting until the very last play has been the story for this year’s preseason schedule. But the tenacious, battle-tested Bulldogs came through last night. They hope to build off this win heading into league play where they face crosstown rival, Pitman high school.
“It’s been a rough preseason, but as I said before, the reason we play the tough schedule is because we want to be the tough schedule. We have to do that in order to play at a high level at the end of the season,” Peterson said.
And now that non-conference games are complete, Turlock will be the tough schedule for opponents as they have been unbeaten in five of the last six years in conference play.
“We’ve been preparing all preseason, our goal first is to obviously be a city champion, we’re going to get a chance real quick to do that again. Then, we want to win our league championship, and then we want to take it to the next level, do something that has never been done in the modern era, which is to earn Turlock football a section championship in the Sac-Joaquin section,” Peterson said.
Following a well-deserved bye week, Turlock will begin their quest to reclaim their championship crown. It all starts with rival, Pitman high school, on September 30th in the 19th annual Harvest Bowl.
Turlock Unable to Run with the Buffaloes at Manteca’s Homecoming
September 09, 2022
In Friday night’s homecoming game, the Manteca Buffaloes put on a running clinic against the Turlock Bulldogs. From the homecoming floats, the two fanbases, and the canons, the energy was high in Guss Schmiedt Stadium on Friday. However, the Bulldogs were not able to recover from Manteca’s fast start and fell to the Buffaloes 59-22.
Coming into this game, both teams knew Manteca wanted to run the ball. And from the opening drive, it was evident. Their backfield features a one-two punch featuring 4-star running back Blake Nichelson and Bryson Davis.
The Buffaloes jumped out to an early 21-0 lead. Turlock, who tends to have a great run defense was struggling. The Manteca rushing attack was too much for Turlock to handle. But the Bulldog offense responded with a 22-point quarter of their own putting the halftime score at 35-22.
After the late second-quarter surge, there was not much life left in the Turlock offense.
The Bulldogs were trying to ride their momentum in the opening drive of the second half but that was short-lived by an interception that set up a 5-yard rushing TD by Blake giving the Buffaloes a 41-22 lead. The Buffaloes did not look back as they beat the Bulldogs 59-22.
Manteca finished the game with 370 offensive yards, 304 of them on the ground. Nichelson had 23 Carries for 201 yards.
Turlock finished the game with 324 yards, 242 of them in the air. The offense had help from Peter Mello who made his debut on Friday night. Mello finished the game with 4 receptions for 103 yards. JT Foreman finished the game with 112 all-purpose yards of his own.
Joshua Weatherbee finished the game with nine solo tackles.
Though the defense struggled to slow down the Buffaloes’ running attack, they got a first-hand taste of playing a highly-recruited and physical running back. The Bulldog defense will have a similar challenge next Friday as they hit the road to Concord where they will finish preseason play against Clayton Valley Charter. Clayton Valley, a physical team received a big transfer in the offseason. The Ugly Eagles received Will Stallings Jr, a 6’1, 225-pound running back who is committed to the University of Tennessee. The Bulldogs look to avenge last year’s loss to Clayton Valley where they lost to the Ugly Eagles 35-22. Kickoff is set for 7 PM at Clayton Valley Charter high school.
Turlock puts up a dogfight against state powerhouse house Central of Fresno
September 02, 2002
Following one of the worst blowouts under Head Coach James Peterson, the Turlock Bulldogs looked to bounce back at home Friday night as they hosted the Central Grizzlies. Though the Bulldogs went toe-for-toe with an athletic Grizzly team, the Grizzlies’ offense began to pull away in the second half.
From the moment both teams entered the field, one thing was certain, both squads brought the intensity into Friday night’s matchup, and that energy was much needed as both teams combined for a total of 138 plays on a hot September night. The short-handed Bulldogs would eventually run out of steam towards the second half and ultimately fell to the Grizzlies 54-41.
The last time the Bulldogs hosted Central, they lost 41-13, and the Grizzlies went on to be California’s 2019 1-AA state champions that season. This year, the Grizzlies are ranked 43rd in the state. This time, the matchup was much more competitive.
From the opening quarter, both teams showed flashes of their athleticism. Central took the ball down the field on their first drive of the game, topped off by a 21-yard rushing touchdown by #6 Jaylon Jones to give the Grizzlies an early 7-0 lead.
But as Turlock did most of the night, they responded. Quarterback, Cole Gilbert, found tight-end Joshua Weatherbee in the end zone to tie things up 7-7 late in the first quarter. With both offenses starting to get in a rhythm, points were being scored left and right. Seconds before halftime, the Turlock defense held Central in the red zone, ending the half with a JT Foreman interception. Turlock led at the half 22-19.
Coming into the second half, Central’s explosive offense began to figure out the Turlock defense. The Grizzlies outscored Turlock 21-6 in the third quarter behind three touchdown passes from quarterback Dayton Tafoya.
Central began to pull away as the Bulldogs began to run out of gas on the defensive side. Turlock would end up losing to the Grizzlies 54-41.
Both offenses seemed to find their groove tonight, however. Coming into tonight’s game, Central’s highest scoring game was 28 points and Turlock’s was 14.
Central finished the game with 585 total offensive yards in comparison to Turlock’s 553.
Central quarterback Dayton Tafoya finished the game 22/40 for 351 yards with five touchdown passes.
Tafoya’s top two receivers, Braylen Hall and Ladanian Streets, finished for a combined 242 receiving yards.
Turlock, a run-first team, also began to find success in the air as Cole Gilbert finished the game 14/28 for 317 yards with two touchdown passes. Defensive back and backup quarterback, Vincent Gonzalez had success too finishing 4/4 for 69 yards and two touchdowns.
The Turlock receiving core stepped up in the absence of Peter Mello and Andrew Johnson with contributions from Weatherbee, Jeremiah Bertalotto, JT Foreman, Kael Mcbay, and Carter Crivelli.
The offensive line also had a next-man-up mentality in absence of starting lineman Nelson Lozano.
Bertalotto led the way for the Bulldogs finishing with nine tackles on the defensive side of the ball and Gonzalez finished with six of his own. It is no shock that multiple impact players are going both ways for Turlock as they have been short-handed, yet continuously up for the challenge.
At Saturday morning’s breakfast, Peterson explained what separated the two teams last night.
“It’s little things like that, when you play a great team and make one mistake, they’ll make it count,” Peterson said.
He later explained that this was a great opportunity for his team to get better against some of the most talented players in the area. He was also proud of how his team handled Friday night’s challenge against a prestigious program.
“The best part about last night was that our guys fought, we fought all night, nobody quit, and you could see it until the very end,” Peterson said.
Looking ahead, Turlock will be heading up to play Manteca Friday night The Buffaloes are ranked 44th in the state and second in the entire San Joaquin Section.
For the Bulldogs to not repeat what happened last time on the road, they are going to have to bring the same energy they have while playing at home. Junior lineman, Logan Durkee, touched on this at Saturday’s breakfast and explained the Bulldogs will have to practice how they want to play.
“I think it starts with high energy in practice and working hard every single day, as well as staying on top of our teammates,” Durkee added. “That will help us carry energy over to the game.”
Peterson jokingly added, “BYOE,” telling his players to “Bring your own energy.”
Turlock continues to have one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the valley, but be reminded, the Bulldogs are no slouch themselves.
“I’m excited about the opportunity this week to play Manteca, another quality school,” Peterson added.
“They will be a new test for us, but I know our boys will be up for it. We’re the tough schedule too, remember that. We’re going to need every player to step up this week.”
Turlock falls to 1-1 on the season after Friday night’s loss to Clovis West
August 27, 2022
Heading into the second game of the season, the Turlock Bulldogs hit the road against a talented Clovis West team Friday night. Both teams came into the matchup 1-0 on the season, but it was all Clovis West from the opening drive. A quick drive was topped off by a 6-yard rushing touchdown from #7 Aidan Fortenberry, giving Clovis West an early 7-0 lead.
When it was Turlock’s turn to respond, the offense beat themselves from their opening drive. In the first quarter alone, the offense had four self-inflicted turnovers, including three fumbles and a pick-six. The sloppy start put the Bulldogs in a 28-0 hole in just the first quarter and they were unable to dig themselves out of it.
Turlock trailed 34-0 at the half.
The second half was more competitive as the defense started to figure out Clovis West’s air-raid offense. Turlock’s offense began to put together a few promising drives through their run game but was stalled in the red zone on multiple occasions.
Turlock finished the game with 170 rushing yards.
Turlock ultimately lost 48-0 as Clovis West put an exclamation mark on their victory with a 49-yard touchdown pass to #14 Jakin Khajavi with under a minute left in the ball game.
Clovis West quarterback, Tyler Patrick, finished the game 16-for-24 with 300 passing yards and four touchdowns.
Though both teams were nearly equal in time of possession and number of plays, Turlock was unable to sustain drives as they finished 0/9 on third down conversions and 1/7 on fourth down conversions.
At Saturday morning’s breakfast, right guard and long snapper, Jason Rose, explained what he thought stumped his team on Friday night.
“Our heads weren’t in the game, and I think that’s where our problem was, our heads were elsewhere. We beat Rocklin and thought there were no better teams than them from last year, but surely, we were mistaken, and last night they told us we were,” Rose said.
Turlock will continue to face adversity in the coming weeks, but the Bulldogs are no stranger to this.
Turlock will have to figure out how to keep a high level of intensity week in and week out. They will also need to have a next-man-up mindset as they are short-handed early on this season. They’re missing key starters Peter Mello, Cole Hendrix, Chase Hendrix, and Andrew Johnson. It is undetermined when they’ll return.
If the Bulldogs want to get a few more wins before league play, they will have to find the same intensity that they brought in their season opener, regardless if they are on the road or at home.
Once again, the road doesn’t get any easier as Turlock hosts Central (Fresno) this upcoming Friday (9/2). Central is ranked #32 in the state of California and #2 in the Central section.
Looking beyond this week, the Bulldogs will wrap up preseason play on the road against Manteca, ranked 45th in the state, and Clayton Valley Charter, which is 70th.
Through the highs and lows of the first two weeks of the season, one thing is for sure, though the road ahead is rigorous, Turlock is up for the challenge, despite Friday’s blowout.
“We will have a much better week of practice this week, and probably run a little more,” Rose added.
Bulldogs Take Down Rocklin in Season Opener
August 20, 2022
After a highly anticipated home opener, the Turlock Bulldogs held on to upset the Rocklin Thunder Friday night at Joe Debely Stadium in front of a rowdy home crowd. Rocklin, ranked 34th in the state and second in the San Joaquin section (Maxpreps), finished last season 12-1 and beat the Bulldogs last year 41-0. There was no doubt that the players did not forget about last year as they entered Friday’s game with a chip on their shoulders. It was a tough, gritty, defensive effort that ultimately sealed the game for the Bulldogs as they beat Rocklin 14-7 in Friday’s season opener.
From the first defensive stop, it was evident that Turlock was not going to be pushed around on their home turf. After a few stalling drives from both teams, the first points of the game belonged to Turlock with a Cole Gilbert 1-yard rushing touchdown with 8:05 left in the second quarter.
The closing minute of the first half was crucial as it ultimately led to the game-deciding score for Turlock. On Rocklin’s final drive of the half, Joshua Weatherbee almost came up with an interception; however, the following play, his teammate, Jeremiah Bertalotto, outdid him with a miraculous, diving interception that gave Turlock great field position right before halftime. The Bulldogs capitalized on the great field position when Gilbert connected with Logan Bankson on a 32-yard touchdown throw to give the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead with 11 seconds left in the half.
But as all great teams do, Rocklin responded. The Thunder drove down the field fast and capped it off with a 21-yard rushing touchdown courtesy of #13 Austin Adams, cutting into Turlock’s lead 14-7 with 7:05 left in the 3rd quarter.
Though Rocklin was back in the game within minutes, the Turlock sideline was not startled, still, they had a sense of composure and confidence in their defense. One of the defense’s new leaders, who helped instill that composure is junior middle linebacker, Owen Miller.
“That opening drive was a little rough, but as Coach has been saying all week, next play, next play,” Miller added. “We flushed it and moved on to the next play and as you can see, we stopped them for the rest of the game.”
Though those were the last points scored, the rest of the game kept every single fan in attendance on the edge of their seat. Down the stretch, the Turlock defense came up with crucial stops in the 4th quarter.
Rocklin was looking to tie things up with just minutes left in the game, but their final drive was shut down by the Turlock secondary with back-to-back game-saving pass breakups. Rocklin turned the ball over on Turlock’s 22-yard line giving Turlock the ball back with three minutes left in the ballgame. Following the turnover, the offense successfully kept the Thunder off the field with a strong drive highlighted by a 37-yard connection from Gilbert to Bankson with 2:34 left in the ball game that put Turlock deep in Rocklin territory. The Bulldogs ultimately ended the game in victory formation on the Rocklin 1-yard line as time expired giving the Bulldogs a thrilling 14-7 win.
By the end of the night, one thing was certain, the Bulldogs had reclaimed their tenacious defensive identity as they won the game for Turlock stopping the Thunder on four different 4th down conversions.
Martin Bertao, the senior defensive end, touched on this new sense of life in the Turlock defense. Bertao was a part of last year’s defense that gave up 41 points to Rocklin, and when asked the difference between this year’s defense compared to last year, the answer was simple.
“By far the energy,” Bertao said. “It’s the way we can turn the tide and move on to the next play and keep on going.”
Who is to be credited for this new sense of life in the Turlock defense?
Last night’s win was yet another signature win for Head Coach James Peterson’s football program as they have knocked off another Sacramento powerhouse. Some schools in recent memory to note include Del Oro, Sheldon, Cosumnes Oaks, and now Rocklin all within the past five years, showing that Turlock does belong in the conversation with some of the top schools in the section.
Bulldogs Preseason Preview:
August 12, 2022
After what many viewed as a down year for the Turlock High School Varsity football team, the Bulldogs (4-7), have once again reloaded with talent and have refocused their energy on this upcoming season. The Bulldogs hope to reclaim their place at the top of the Central California Athletic League once again with a talented junior class and key veteran players.
This year, the Bulldog backfield features a three-headed running attack as they are returning senior quarterback Cole Gilbert, and senior running backs, JT Foreman and Logan Bankson. Both Gilbert and Bankson are returning this season after lingering season-long injuries in 2021. The two hope to help take the running load off of three-star running back Foreman who was the work-horse for the Turlock offense last year, finishing last season with well over 1,000 rushing yards.
The revamped offense will once again be led by Gilbert who has been Turlock’s starting varsity quarterback since his sophomore year. After his injury stalling his junior campaign, Gilbert explained the difficulty of watching his offense struggle without him.
“Watching our offense and team struggle last year was hard to watch but it has put a lot of responsibility on me to bounce back and change the results for this year,” Gilbert added. “We will be much more polished this season.”
For the first time since 2015, the Bulldogs suffered their first league loss, breaking a dominant streak of nearly seven consecutive years. Last year’s two league losses were Turlock’s first-ever losses since entering the Central California Athletic League.
Though the offense averaged 22.6 points per game last season without Gilbert, this was a dramatic decrease from the following five-game season the year prior where Gilbert’s offense averaged 51.6 points per game. The Bulldog defense also loosened up from the 2021 season as they gave up 25 points per game compared to 12.6 the year before.
The defense looks to tighten things up once again as they are returning some key components of their defense. Some notable returning seniors include: Cole Hendrix, Gage Pritt, Joshua Weatherbee, Martin Bertao, and Peter Mello, who played quarterback last year in Gilbert’s absence. These seniors will be getting some help from the incoming juniors, some to highlight include defensive end Logan Durkee, and defensive backs Isaiah and Jeremiah Bertalotto.
The team seems to have regrouped, but the task at hand is not going to be easy. As in years past, Turlock will start their season with a gauntlet of a non-conference schedule. Of their five non-conference opponents, four of them competed in their respective section title games. But it is without question these tough opponents have helped Head Coach James Peterson’s teams prepare for a battle-tested league and postseason run.
“You have to compete with top teams if you want to play at a high level,” Peterson said. “We have slowly begun this process years ago and have added new teams every year. This process has helped mold Turlock players into top recruited college players. Not only do they make it to the next level, but thrive in it because they understand what it means to play top talent every week.”
This tactic by Peterson appears to be effective as the Bulldogs have helped produce recent collegiate talent including Mustafa Johnson at the University of Colorado, Dustin Grein at Cal Poly SLO, Garrett Fountain at San Diego State, Everett Johnson at Cal Berkeley, Ashton Patterson at College of Idaho and now Anthony Frias of Kansas State. All of these players have come through Turlock’s program within the past six years.
Not only does this tough schedule help build collegiate athletes, but it helps Peterson’s program reach its ultimate goal.
“We play a tough schedule because we want to be a section champion, if we don’t play the tough teams we won’t ever be ready to compete for the playoffs,” Peterson added.
Following their non-conference schedule, the Bulldogs will jump right into league play opening with the 19th annual Harvest Bowl followed by a highly-anticipated homecoming featuring the Downey Knights. Turlock will then head up to play century-long rival Modesto High and finish their regular season at home against Enochs then a senior night that has the Gregori Jaguars coming into town.
Though the regular season is only 10 games, to reach their goals for this upcoming season, the Bulldogs know they will have to play together week in and week out.
Gilbert said, “One thing I have my mind wrapped around is playing as a team, we have tons of talent but it won’t matter if we don’t play together.”
As one of the premier programs in the Valley, Turlock football has not been knocked off its throne in recent memory, but high school football fans in the valley are eager to see how Turlock will respond after last year’s dethronement.
One thing is for sure in both Gilbert and Peterson’s minds, they will reclaim the golden standard they have achieved in the years past, but they will have to work as a family to achieve it once again.
“Getting back on top and staying together in a Turlock brotherhood is definitely the mindset,” Peterson said. “We know it’s going to take all of us to get back to being a dominating force in the section. I know we can get these guys ready. They need to stay healthy and play together as a family.”