After losing a heartbreaking game one week earlier, there was nothing to recover from in head coach Tim Cobleigh’s eyes.
“I don’t even know if it’s ‘bounce back.’ We’re a good football team. We have to prepare and we have to play our football in the next three weeks against Rosemont, Union Mine and Liberty Ranch,” Cobleigh said when asked what the team did to prepare for its game against Bradshaw Christian on Oct. 11. “We’re confident in what we can do, we just have to go out there and perform.”
The score saw a 7-6 Galt lead in the first quarter, but the Pride scored three times in the second quarter to take control of the night and end up with a 34-7 win.
Still, the Warriors have the opportunity to add their first win of the league season Friday when they travel to Rosemont, who is also 1-1. The Wolverines defeated Galt 54-14 last season.
With just 25 players on its roster, the Pride have made the most of their bench in case of injury and two weeks into league, it showed.
Multiple members of the Pride have gone down due to injury at various points of the year so far, including starting running back Jeremiah Bonner-Hayes and starting center Josh Ellis.
The Pride has handled its setbacks with ease, however, and with its latest win over Galt, has climbed to 2-0 in league.
The Pride are the sole undefeated team in the Sierra Valley Conference and are 5-2 heading into Friday’s matchup against Union Mine.
Bradshaw Christian head coach Drew Pickert agreed that players have been able to have success in their backup roles to unavailable starters.
“Our squad’s only 25 deep so a little nick here and there it kind of gets you but I think the kids overcome it. Our starting center had to sit tonight because he hurt his knee and he’ll be fine but our backup [Nolan Robertson] can play great. We’re having kids step in and play when someone gets hurt and that’s impressive for young kids to be able to do that.”
The game was nearly tied in the first quarter before the Pride fired off two touchdowns in the second quarter and led 27-7 by halftime.
Overcoming a few errors, as well as a touchdown in the fourth quarter, resulted in the Pride winning its third straight game.
“I thought we played a very good first half on both sides of the ball and the second half we played a good defensive half. We got a little complacent with the ball, we fumbled a couple times but I thought the kids played hard,” Rickert said. “Our O-line blocked great, that was nice to see. Galt’s a good team. They’re very close to exploding I believe. I think they can be very solid, it’s just we played well and got on them early.”
The Pride had the lead nearly the entire night except for with 2:31 left in the first quarter, when Bulahan Jr. scored on a nine-yard run and Ethan Reece’s kick put the Warriors on top, 7-6.
The Warriors threw an interception in the second quarter that indirectly led to a Pride touchdown with 5:25 and a 21-7 score.
The Warriors had a chance to cut into Bradshaw Christian’s 27-7 lead in the third quarter after recovering a Pride fumble at the start of the half.
The Pride recovered a Warrior fumble with 8:37 left, however, and also intercepted a Bulahan Jr. pass with 2:59 remaining in the quarter to chop up the Warriors’ time with the ball.
The Warriors would recover a fumble by the Pride six seconds after giving the ball up on their own fumble but eventually turned the ball over on downs with 9:21 left in the game.
“We knew they were good. We had a good game plan. The kids adjusted at halftime and came out and played some fantastic defense,” Cobleigh said afterward. “Mistakes (turning over the football, not protecting the football, missing blocks), we can’t continue to do that to improve as a football team…so we’re going to clean those up.”