The Yuba City offense flocked the field on Friday night at Honker Stadium as the boys in gold came out of the gate firing on all cylinders defeating Fairfield by a final score of 70-7.
This was a game that you needed to be in your seat at kickoff for as the Honkers would go up 21-0 in the first 78 seconds.
After Antonio Henry returned the opening kickoff to the house, Yuba City would recover a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. That’s when Eric Palmquist would score his first of three touchdowns on the very next play.
The Honkers weren’t slowing down anytime soon, as the home team recovered another live ball on the next kickoff. Setting them up for an easy score in the redzone to take a 21-0 lead with 10:42 to go in the opening quarter.
“You can’t script it any better, we had the ball bouncing our way and the offensive line setting up wide holes, that’s the way it’s supposed to be,” head coach Aaron Gingery said.
Fairfield would finally get its first possession of the game, but the Yuba City defense didn’t miss a beat after forcing a quick three-and-out.
“It was good to see the defense doing what they’re doing, this week we really worked on flying to the ball and forcing turnovers so it was good to see that go into action,” linebacker Luke Afato said.
Palmquist proved the electric start for the Honker offense wasn’t over yet as on the ensuing drive the senior back ran for a 60-yard touchdown to give Yuba City a 28-0 lead with 3:31 left in the first quarter.
“We knew that we have the capability to come out and perform the way we did. We came out ready to go and it showed early on,” Palmqiust said.
Fairfield tried to regroup in the waning moments of the first quarter, but a failed fourth-and- short attempt gave the Honkers great field position with another easy score.
Takeshi Faupula ran the ball up the middle of the field evading two defenders for a 13-yard score to give Yuba City the 35-0 lead in the first minute of the second quarter.
Yuba City wasn’t going to let up off the gas on either side of the ball after cornerback Jrue Burton snagged an interception and returned it to the Fairfield five-yard line. That’s when Palmquist would tally another score to give his team a 42-0 lead.
Before the half the Honkers would add two more scores on the ground after Fairfield failed to advance the ball past their own 45-yard line.
“Our kids play great defense and they hold each other accountable and that’s why they’re as solid as they are,” head coach Gingery said.
Coming out of the half, it was evident that nothing had changed. Just as Fairfield crossed the the 50-yard line for the first time since early in the second quarter, Yuba City’s Liam Dunham returned an interception for a 57-yard touchdown.
“I just kept thinking don’t let anyone catch me and I got to get in the end zone as fast as possible,” Dunham said.
In the late stages of the game both team’s came together for an exceptional show of sportsmanship when Fairfield’s Antonio Quintella, a special needs student, was able to break free for a 62-yard touchdown to put his team on the board.
“It was truly a special moment to see him do that will give anyone goosebumps,” coach Gingery said.
After a running clock bled out the final minutes, Yuba City captured its second win of the season. The Honkers (2-1) will now prepare for Chico next week.