With a host of capable ballcarriers, including one of the best early stars in the Northern Section in Tariq Parker, the Wheatland High football team came in to Olivehurst on Friday with the firepower to score quickly and in bunches.
Only it took the Pirates about a quarter to get their engine in gear, before blowing out Lindhurst on the road 50-16 and winning the South County Cup for the second straight year.
“It took us a quarter, but we did finally get there,” Wheatland coach Larry Hulen said. “I learned they’re a resilient bunch after tonight. We didn’t play very well to begin with, but I learned they’re going to stick to it.”
Wheatland (2-0) began its scoring onslaught a mere 37 seconds after Lindhurst’s Simon Enochs pounded one in from 3 yards out, cutting the Blazer deficit in half at 16-8.
Two plays and 37 seconds later, Manny Galvan hit a 56-yard home run for his second touchdown of the night, extending the Wheatland lead back up to 24-8 after the 2-point conversion, with 9 minutes, 37 seconds left in the first half.
Wheatland proceeded to punch home 26 more unanswered points to blow it open at the break, 50-8.
Lindhurst’s one bright spot, Enochs had 38 of his team-high 183 yards and a first-half interception to aid the hosts. However, Lindhurst committed four first-half turnovers which didn’t help its cause.
“I knew we were outmanned but I think the kids played their hearts out,” Lindhurst coach Hark Dulai said. We’re young, we’re getting better. We made plays, we just didn’t make enough of them.”
In the second half, Wheatland continued to run full steam ahead as Parker pushed his numbers to over 300 yards in the third quarter to go along with three rushing touchdowns. The senior feature back finished with 306 yards on 15 carries.
“Parker looked really good tonight, and a lot of that is his offensive line,” Hulen said. “They play hard.”
Lindhurst continued to play hard behind Enochs, who had a late 90-yard score in the second half, trimming the commanding deficit down to 50-16.
“Simon Enochs is the future, he’s a cornerstone,” Dulai said. “You saw what he could do and he’s going to get better.”
Enochs also caught a couple passes for 29 yards, while quarterback Sam Alfred converted a 2-point conversion in the second quarter.
For Wheatland, Galvan added 83 yards and a couple rushing scores in the first half, while Gage Rymer chipped in 40 yards and a touchdown.
Through the air, Zach Roper hauled in a 6-yard pass over the middle, extending Wheatland’s lead to 30-8 in the second quarter.
Wheatland hosts Highlands, while Lindhurst travels to Oroville to take on Las Plumas next week.