Joe Curry paid his dues, earned his time.
He quarterbacked the freshman football team at Folsom High School to a league championship and then did the same in 2014 for the junior varsity program that ultimately feeds the beast otherwise known as the Bulldogs varsity ranks.
A year ago, Curry was the backup quarterback, soaking in the success of Jake Jeffrey, who earned Bee Offensive Player of the Year honors and is now at Cal Poly.
Now, it’s Curry time, and the Bulldog Express continues to rumble and roar down the tracks.
Curry completed 33 of 45 passes for 561 yards and six touchdowns, and Folsom withstood the considerable talents of quarterback Colson Yankoff to beat Idaho powerhouse Coeur d’Alene 55-36 in a season opener on Saturday night at Prairie City Stadium.
Curry passed for 386 yards in the first half and those six scoring strikes, four to game-breaker Drake Stallworth, who had 10 catches for 246 yards.
“We’re confident with Joe, and he’s been a winner his whole career here,” Folsom coach Kris Richardson said earlier this week. “He’s very good.”
Curry was poised, polished and primed for his varsity debut. He rolled out and threw short wheel routes to allow Folsom receivers to break away, and he threw over the middle and deep with touch.
On the game’s second play, Curry hit a streaking Stallworth for a 77-yard bomb down the Coeur d’Alene sideline. He also hit Stallworth for a 50-yard score and a 17-yard strike. In addition, the senior found Eric Davis for a 24-yarder, Brandon Rupchock for an 18-yarder and Brad Jenner for 19 as the quarterback legacy continues in full force.
Folsom under Richardson since 2006 has rolled out prolific passers Cary Grossart, David Graves, Dano Graves, Tanner Trosin, Jake Browning, Jeffrey and now Curry, who makes all the reads, makes all the throws and has the respect of his coaches and teammates.
And Folsom needed every touchdown, including runs of 4 and 1 yards by Davin Simmons in the fourth quarter, to keep ahead of the prolific Vikings, winners of two large-school state titles in recent seasons.
Yankoff, the Oregon-bound 6-foot-5 star, completed 25 of 34 passes for 301 yards, and he hit Kyler Prendergast for scoring passes of 36, 34 and 31 yards while also running for a 1-yard score.
“He’s a stud,” Richardson said.
The game came about through a connection between Richardson and Jeff Schroder of the Coeur d’Alene coaching staff. Richarsdon and Schroder played against each other in high school in the Bay Area and were linemen teammates at Diablo Valley College. Coeur d’Alene made the bus trip Friday. The teams will play next season.
“They have a hard time finding games up there and were willing to come here, and we’re glad to have them,” RIchardson said. “It’s a very good, very strong program.”
Folsom returned just four starters from its 14-1 team that four-peated at Sac-Joaquin Section champions, but the early signs are quite encouraging. The Bulldogs are 59-3 since 2012, including a 50-0 streak against the Sac-Joaquin Section.
Folsom has won two CIF state championships since 2010 with five section titles while also sending scores of players to Division I via scholarship.
Coeur d’Alene came to compete and did, going for two-point conversions, going for it on fourth down and attempting onside kicks. The Vikings scored 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to keep the Bulldogs in it.