It wasn’t pretty by any measure, except the touchdowns.
Some of those were of the dazzling variety.
Enduring a feisty, fierce and proud Jesuit High School team that was primed to make regional history in halting two historic streaks, top-ranked Folsom overcame sloppy play and an inordinate amount of penalties to prevail 42-28 on Friday night at Prairie City Stadium.
The Bulldogs overcame three first-half turnovers and 14 penalties for 140 yards, some of the absolute head-and-helmet-scratching variety, to maintain their hold on local competition.
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Folsom (2-0) extended its regular-season winning streak to 47 games and its record against Sac-Joaquin Section opponents since 2012 to 51-0.
Jesuit (1-0) vowed to make it a game, and the Marauders struck early.
Jason Gallagher forced and recovered a fumble (he also had an interception in the end zone) to stall Folsom’s opening drive, and Calvin Brownholtz then hit Jonathon Armadi for an 89-yard scoring stroke to electrify the Marauders bench, large crowd and spirited Galley Crew rooting section.
Brownholtz also hit Evan Panson for a perfectly timed 11-yard fade pattern to pull Jesuit to within 21-14, but the senior standout missed the second half with a foot injury.
If anything, Folsom proved it can take a shot to the chin strap and recover, and it proved that it can defend against the run. And for an outfit that returned just four starters from a 14-1 team, the young Bulldogs showed that they can inflict damage on the ground as Davin Simmons rushed for 141 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Rupchock rushed for 88 yards and scored on runs of 13 and 32 yards, and he pulled a nifty trick play, hitting Eric Davis for a 53-yard touchdown to give his team the lead for good at 14-7.
Folsom coaches and players do not dwell or even discuss the winning streaks – it’s a media and fan thing – but the momentum speaks volumes of how this program reloads and then unloads on opponents.
“We want to continue to press on, keep the Folsom tradition going,” Folsom coach Kris Richardson said earlier this week. “For every great program, there’s always the next guy, the next man up. That’s been up to us to find those guys.”
Simmons and Rupchock were reserves last season and now look the part as a terrific 1-2 combination. Joe Curry is in his first season as a varsity starter, and the senior quarterback passed for 218 yards and iced the game with a seven-yard touchdown to Joe Ngata to make it 48-21. Curry passed for 564 yards and six touchdowns to beat Coeur d’Alene of Idaho last week.
Jesuit was also led by running back Lorenzo Burkes, who ran for a touchdown and caught one. The Marauders went 5-5 last season and opened this season with a 28-10 win over Granite Bay. They play rival Christian Brothers in the 47th Holy Bowl next Saturday night at Hughes Stadium.
“Jesuit always gives us a good game, and playing them is great for area football,” Richardson said. “We know they’ll give us their best shot, and we’ll give them one, too.”
Jesuit coach Marlon Blanton said he was delighted to play Folsom. The teams used to be Delta League rivals before Folsom was realigned to the Sierra Foothill League two years ago.
“I’ve got nothing but respect for Folsom,” Blanton said. “Those coaches really coach their kids up, get them to execute, and they play so hard. They put in the time, and that’s what makes Folsom the best in the area.”