Trailing by six points in the fourth quarter of their game against Linden, the Galt Warriors, led by back-to-back touchdowns by Isaac Madrigal, electrified the visiting crowd in the third game of the year before wrapping up a 49-35 win at Linden High School.
“We had a safety to start the half that got the defense really fired up. Total team effort. We talked about living up to the commitments you make for yourself as a young man and the kids did that. When they were sore, when they were tired, when they were beat, they kept fighting and that’s what we asked them to do,” Galt coach Tim Cobleigh said afterward.
The Warriors scored four straight times starting from the end of the third quarter and in doing so, amped up their dominance over the Lions by holding them scoreless in the final quarter.
With 10:45 left, Robert Bulahan Jr. threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Madrigal to tie the game at 35-35. Ethan Reece then continued his solid night by giving the Warriors a 36-35 lead with the PAT kick.
Not yet content with new but slim lead, Madrigal intercepted a Linden pass on their next possession and returned it for a touchdown. Reece then gave the Warriors a 43-35 lead.
Working to protect the lead, the Warrior defense continued to shut down the Lions in the quarter, pushing them back to Linden’s 20-yard line before forcing a third down and then an incomplete pass.
The Warriors then moved the ball successfully on their next possession to allow Bulahan Jr. to score on a one-yard quarterback keeper with 3:25 left. A blocked PAT kick led to the 49-35 score.
The Warriors’ rally gave them a 2-1 record in the football preseason as they prepare to travel to Valley High School Friday and seek back-to-back wins.
“It’s all about executing, about finishing strong. We’re a family, we’re a brotherhood. As long as we finish strong, we’ll come out with the win. It’s all about having a dog mentality and finishing strong through the four quarters,” Madrigal said after the game.
Linden led 14-0 in the first quarter thanks to touchdowns by Brock Lund and a 49-touchdown pass from Cruz Herrera to Tyler Rathjen, with 7:38 and 4:04 left, respectively.
The Warriors scored their first touchdown later when Marcelo Lopez scored on a 24-yard pass by Bulahan Jr. with 26.6 seconds left to cut the lead 14-7 in the first.
The Lions’ next touchdown was keyed by an interception by Lucas Davis that ended at Galt’s 17-yard line with 9:56 left. Herrera later threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Alex Herrera and took a 21-7 lead.
The Warriors’ offense responded once again when Bulahan Jr. threw a touchdown pass to Lopez for 61 yards, bringing Galt within 21-14 with 8:25 left.
The Lions scored again on a 47-yard reception by Rathjen with 7:24 left but Galt continued the ping pong theme on a 33-yard touchdown pass by Bulahan Jr to Lopez for 12 yards and a 28-21 score.
The Warriors led off the third quarter with a safety before both teams suffered through punts.
Brock Lund then scored on a 51-yard play with 4:56 left.
The Warriors answered once again on a 10-yard touchdown reception by Lopez with 2:56. A blocked PAT kick gave the Warriors a 35-29 deficit entering the fourth quarter.
“We had adjustments at halftime and we stuck to those adjustments,” Cobleigh said. “It’s just a testament to the kids that they’re able to take the instruction, make the adjustment and make everything happen and they just did. They slowed down a little bit instead of rushing around and took care of business.”
Bulahan Jr. threw for 258 yards and five touchdowns and added to his stellar night with 77 rush yards and an additional touchdown.
Lopez had 152 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
The Lions’ Cruz Herrera threw for 213 yards against the Warriors.