Things were looking bleak for the Sobrato High football team. Having led all game, the Bulldogs suddenly found themselves trailing for the first time when Prospect High scored at the end of the third quarter.
Spirits were down and bewildered, melancholic faces littered the sideline. Sobrato needed to answer and fast, and that’s exactly what it did. After Prospect took the lead, the Bulldogs scored the final 19 points of the game in a 35-20 win in Blossom Valley League Santa Teresa Division action on Oct. 30.
“We knew we needed to turn on the switch at some point,” said Trey Bringuel, who played a huge role in the victory at running back and outside linebacker. “We knew we had to fight all four quarters and stay patient, and at some point the line would open holes up again.”
Led by the likes of two-way linemen Anthony Anderson, Ryan Mcglashan and Colin Bringuel, Sobrato (3-2, 2-0) got the better of the play up front which led to several key stops on defense and a huge output in the run game. The Bulldogs rushed for 227 yards on 37 carries, with Matthew Nguyen leading the way with 86 yards on nine carries.
Nathan Ortiz had 65 yards on eight carries and Bringuel finished with 67 yards on 11 carries, including touchdown runs of 1, 5 and 2 yards. Seth Hernstedt made some big plays, completing 5-of-9 passes for 110 yards.
Bringuel had a game to remember, hauling in a 32-yard TD reception, making several tackles and breaking up a couple of passes on defense. Bringuel plays bigger than his 5-foot-6, 150-pound frame. He routinely gains yards after contact and patiently waits for the play to develop.
“When I run, I give time to look at some holes and then make my decision where to go,” he said. “I’m not afraid to hit people no matter how big or small I am. I’ve been playing against bigger guys since I was 6 years old, and it doesn’t fear me. Defensively, I had great reads tonight and so did the other outside linebacker and the whole defense. It was a great team win.”
The Sobrato players often spend their lunch break watching film in preparation for an opponent. Football is a game of adjustments, and Prospect made some key ones at halftime which accounted for a 12-0 scoring run in the third quarter that gave it a 20-16 lead entering the fourth.
That’s when Sobrato had to answer just like it did in last week’s win over Branham. After the Panthers took the lead, the Bulldogs went on a nine play, 73 yard drive, capped by Bringuel’s 5-yard TD run. Ortiz was magnificent on the drive, hauling in passes of 22 and 29 yards, the latter an acrobatic leaping grab that most receivers wouldn’t have the capability to make.
Sobrato installed one of its run-heavy formation packages, and Prospect had no answer as Bringuel routinely went over left guard for chunks of yardage at a time. After Bringuel’s 5-yard TD run, the Sobrato defense stood tall as Remy Hernandez returned an interception 32 yards to the Prospect 19-yard line.
From there, Bringuel unleashed a tackle-busting, 18-yard run before Hernstedt’s 1-yard quarterback sneak gave the Bulldogs a 28-20 lead with 7 minutes, 9 seconds left in the contest. The Bulldogs defense held firm again on Prospect’s ensuing series, setting up the offense to finish things off.
Four run plays resulted in 60 yards, culminating on Bringuel’s 2-yard TD run. The shifty and elusive Ortiz busted off a 42-yard run as the key play of the drive. C.J. Taylor’s interception on Prospect’s next possession highlighted a fine defensive effort from Sobrato, which saw Jacob Laisure and Collins making several tackles. Laisure was seemingly all over the field making stops.
Taylor’s interception wouldn’t have been possible had Nolan Moyer not drilled the Prospect quarterback just as he was releasing the ball, which popped up for Taylor to make a play on. Trey Bringuel also forced a fumble and recovered it midway through the second quarter, and Adam King recovered a fumble later in the quarter.
Now on a three-game win streak, Sobrato has worked itself in the upper tier of the Santa Teresa Division. While Leigh has established itself as the clear favorite to win the division, the Bulldogs are quietly working their way to what they hope will be championship-caliber status.
Bulldogs coach Jubenal Rodriguez is particularly proud of the players for overcoming adversity. As of early Thursday afternoon, Sobrato still thought the game was going to be played on Friday as originally scheduled. However, the later changes didn’t get communicated to them and they went from the practice field to Prospect High just a couple of hours before game time.
“A big shout out to our kids for persevering, especially with all the adversity throughout the day,” Rodriguez said. “The coaching staff did a great job. It was a crazy, odd day, and we’re just excited moving forward. Everything turned out great.”