A 5-0 Mendota team was supposed to wipe the floor with an 0-5 Dos Palos team last Friday. But Dos Palos had other plans.
Izzac Suarez ran for three touchdowns and Ryan Willis added another as the Broncos opened league play with a 28-14 win over the defending league and Central Section Division VI champions. The win ended a 17-game win streak for Mendota.
"I've always been proud of this bunch because they don't quit," Dos Palos coach Frank Lemos said. "They've been there every day. So to knock off Mendota and end the win streak, I'm very proud of them because it's deserved."
Both Suarez and Willis hit the century mark, with Suarez racking up 145 yards on 20 carries and Willis running 18 times for 109 yards.
"We took advantage of their quickness," Lemos said. "When they overpenetrated, we would be by them."
With a new defense installed before DP's loss to Kerman, the Bronco defensive gameplan played more to its strengths, and a pair of late interceptions helped them hang on for the win.
"I think we took them out of their game plan of ground and pound, and they had to go to air to catch up," Lemos said. "And that played into our hands.
"We beat a good team in Mendota. They tried to do what they have been doing, and we played football. And that's it."
The Broncos have their backs against the wall for the rest of the season, needing to reach a 5-5 record to qualify for the playoffs. Next up is Firebaugh (5-2), which opened league play with a 42-13 win over Tranquillity on Friday.
Firebaugh spreads its game around, and has seven running backs with touchdowns this season.
"Firebaugh brings different set of circumstances to the table," Lemos said. "They have multiple athletes at the running back and wide receiver positions."
Los Banos scored all 13 of its points in the final 4 minutes of its 13-12 JV win over Ceres, with Loggan Pimentel throwing a 16-yard touchdown to David Walker and Jordan Sams scoring on a 21-yard run.
Pacheco handed Central Catholic its first loss with a 16-15 win.