The Los Banos High offense was clicking on Friday night.
Quarterback Dasani Tate threw three touchdowns in just his second start and running back Justin Incaprera rushed for 158 yards and two scores as the Tigers outlasted Grace Davis 42-32 at Loftin Stadium.
“The offense showed up tonight,” said Los Banos coach Dustin Caropreso, whose team improved to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the Western Athletic Conference. “They played well.”
Tate took over last week at quarterback after starter Colby Copp broke his ankle during the Tigers’ bye week.
Tate completed 16 of 28 passes for 226 yards and three scores. He connected twice on touchdown throws to Landon Ramos.
The duo combined for a 50-yard touchdown pass that gave the Tigers a 14-12 lead early in the second quarter. The two hooked up again in the fourth quarter to help put the game away on a 9-yard scoring strike that gave Los Banos a 42-26 lead.
“(Tate) is doing exactly what we’re asking him to do,” Caropreso said. “He’s getting better each week. If we can keep getting better with him, we’ll be all right.”
The Spartans (1-4, 0-2) started the game with a 73-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Edgar Ramirez. Davis quickly added another touchdown on a 13-yard pass from quarterback Xavier Rodriguez to Greg Smith to give the Spartans a 12-0 lead.
Rodriguez threw four touchdowns in the game, including twice with Smith.
Incaprera broke free for a 47-yard touchdown run for Los Banos’ first score that cut the Spartans’ lead to 12-7. Incrapera added a 2-yard touchdown in the second quarter that helped the Tigers take a 28-20 lead at the half.
The Tigers defense also came up with big plays. Defensive back Jacob Johnson returned an interception 43 yards for a touchdown that extended the Los Banos lead to 35-26 in the fourth quarter.
“That was huge because our offense in the second half went stagnant,” Caropreso said. “We were playing behind the chains. (Johnson) was all over the place.”
Johnson also recorded 13 tackles. Izaiah Flores turned in a big performance on defense with six sacks.
Ramos finished with eight catches for 115 yards to go with his two touchdowns. Bryant Camp hauled in four catches for 95 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown catch.
The win sets up a big game next week with undefeated Mountain House (5-0, 2-0) coming to Loftin Stadium.
“That’s what we talked about,” Caropreso said. “With Mountain House, you’ve got two teams that will be 2-0 in league playing each other. It’s a big game.”
Merced 55, El Capitan 0 in Merced – While the offense put up another stellar performance, the Bears defense put on a show.
Outside linebacker Ke’suan Eddings tipped a pass to himself and returned it to the end zone for a pick-six that gave the Bears a 34-0 lead in the first half.
Merced improved to 6-0 on the season and 2-0 in the Central California Conference heading into their bye week before a big showdown with Buhach Colony on Oct. 5.
“I’m proud of our guys because we played almost everyone and everyone played really hard,” said Merced coach Rob Scheidt. “We played with a high tempo and our guys got after it. I thought our defense set the tone for the night. There were a couple times we put them in bad field position and they came through with three-and-outs.”
Patterson 28, Golden Valley 7 in Patterson – The Cougars struggled in their CCC opener on the road. The Tigers (3-3, 1-1 CCC) jumped out to a 28-0 lead. Jaren Phillips accounted for GV’s lone score on a 4-yard touchdown run with 1:23 left in the game.
Pacheco 49, Lathrop 12 in Lathrop – Marcus Ordunez threw two touchdowns and scored twice on the ground to propel the Panthers (4-1, 2-0 WAC) to a victory.
Julian Moran added two touchdown runs for Pacheco, which is off to its best start since starting 4-1 in 2013.
Chowchilla 34, Exeter 6 in Exeter – Cody Woolsey threw three touchdowns and ran for another two score as the Tribe improved to 4-2 overall.
Woolsey connected on a two touchdowns with Jaylinn Gaines and found Luciano Manzo for 10-yard scoring strike. Woolsey also scored on runs of 3 and 12 yards as Chowchilla built a 34-0 lead.
Orestimba 48, Le Grand 27 in Le Grand – Jacob Dominguez threw three touchdowns to help the Warriors improve to 4-1 in overall and 2-0 in the Southern League.
Tyler Vargas hauled in two of Dominguez’s touchdown passes to help give Orestimba a 24-7 lead at the half.
Le Grand running back Tony Garcia scored on a touchdown runs of 40 and 30 yards on his way to 237 rushing yards on 34 carries. Garcia also threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Joshua Maldonado in the third quarter.
Gustine 17, Mariposa 13 in Mariposa – The Reds rallied late by turning to their passing game. Gustine quarterback Jonathan Martin completed 11 of 15 passes for 200 yards, including 14-yard touchdown pass to Alexis Flores for the go-ahead score with 26.6 seconds left in the game.
Flores caught six passes for 90 yards. Hector Esquivez finished with nine tackls for Gustine, which improves to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the SL with the win.
Waterford 33, Delhi 0 in Delhi – The Hawks (0-5, 0-2 SL) were shut out for the second straight week and have only scored 14 points in five games.
Dos Palos 43, McLane 14 in Fresno – The Broncos finally broke through for the first win on the season. Dos Palos jumped on the previous unbeaten Highlanders (4-1) 36-0 in the first half. Dos Palos is now 1-4 this season with two of its losses coming in overtime.