Despite what their record may suggest, the Trailblazers took giant steps in moving past its recent history during the first half of the season.
Friday’s 48-8 loss against Hanford at Groppetti Automotive Visalia Community Stadium, however, marked significant backtracking.
Golden West (1-6, 0-3) gave up exactly 500 yards of total offense as Hanford (2-6, 1-3) cruised to a 35-0 lead by halftime.
“This is no longer acceptable at Golden West,” coach Paul Preheim said. “This is last year and we’re not last year any more. We played six hared games in a row. We fought and we fought and we fought and we were probably due for a letdown. You don’t want to see it, but you can’t play perfect every night. This is the worst we’ve played all year.”
Last year the Trailblazers scored 51 points for the entire season. They entered Week 7 with a scoring average of nearly 26 points per game (155 total points) and averaged 32.3 points per game over the last four contests.
But Friday night was a different story.
Golden West only produced one first down on its first six possessions, two of which resulted in turnovers. The Trailblazers’ only score didn’t come until the fourth quarter when Quadre Ford connected with Deven Miller on a 15-yard touchdown pass. Judd Post, who started the game at quarterback but was replaced by Ford midway through the second quarter, ran in a two-point conversion.
The offense was considerably more dynamic with Ford under center. Ford’s drove the Trailblazers into Hanford territory for the first time all night during his first go-around, but the possession fizzled with a missed 42-yard field goal. He threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Post to open the second half, but the play was wiped out by a holding penalty and the team eventually turned the ball over on downs.
Preheim said he has packages for both Ford and Post, and will continue to rotate the two at quarterback depending on what the opposing defense shows during games.
“Part of the problem was how good we did against Lemoore,” Preheim said. “We completed so many passes and did so well I think we forgot that we had to block. We’ve got to get back to that. We’re going to have a tough week of practice.”
Hanford had no trouble at all getting its offense going.
The Bullpups scored on their first three drives of the game. Demetrius Curry made all three of those trips to the end zone en route to 112 rushing yards and 97 receiving yards on the night.
Curry’s second score came after Golden West snapped the ball over the punter’s head to set Hanford up at the 14 — Curry ran it in on the next play. His third score came on a 52-yard run on the second play of the possession.
Quarterback Jake Young also starred for the Bullpups, running in a touchdown in the second quarter and passing for another to finish the half.