Turlock defensive end Devin Bradley celebrates a stop by the Bulldogs' defense during a season-opening win over Freedom of Oakley on Aug. 23, 2019. The Bulldogs return home to face another Bulldog this Thursday -- Tracy High, its annual Dogbone rival. (Samantha Schmidt)

Modesto QB Club: Wacky WAC locked in 4-way tie, Davis-Johansen coming up

Ron Agostini
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MODESTO – Beyer High senior Sean Perkins confessed to overconfidence during last week’s important Western Athletic Conference game against Grace Davis.

Perkins, a running back-linebacker and one of the most dynamic players in the WAC, was crestfallen along with his teammates after the Patriots’ 35-14 loss.

“I was a little air-headed. I underestimated Davis,” said Perkins, one of six Beyer players honored as special guests of the Modesto Quarterback Club on Monday. “It was heartbreaking. It was a few plays that shouldn’t have happened. I  didn’t expect them to pass as much as they did.”

To no one’s surprise, Perkins impacted the game in a big way. He accounted for both Beyer touchdowns, the second a 74-yard punt return that drew the Patriots even 14-14 late in the half.

The Davis victory threw the WAC into a four-way tie – featuring the Spartans, Beyer, Johansen and Los Banos – all at 4-1 with two games left.  Last month, Perkins foreshadowed the gridlock with one of the season’s clutch tackles, a sprinting stop of Los Banos’ Landon Ramos on the 1 yard line as time expired to preserve Beyer’s 14-7 victory.

This week’s WAC matchups will provide more clarity. The biggest showdown takes place Friday night at Dan Gonsalves Stadium where Johansen welcomes Davis. The teams are coached by former Modesto Junior College teammates – Scott Sacuskie of Johansen and Tim Garcia of Davis. Both have risen their programs from cellar-dwellers to prominence.

“We’ve cried on each other’s shoulders,” Garcia said.

 Beyer faces a road test at Pacheco (4-4, 3-2), which can add even more WAC chaos. The Panthers absorbed painful one-point losses to both Johansen and Davis.

“The next two weeks are going to be a wild ride,” Beyer coach Greg Bockman said. “It’s wide-open.”

QB CLUB NOTES – Bockman praised Davis quarterback-linebacker Elijah Diaz, who accounted for four touchdowns, three rushing. “He was hard to get a hold of. He’s certainly the toughest kid we’ve seen all year,” Bockman said. “Our kids would come off the field saying, ‘I thought we had him.’” …Garcia cited Davis’ 25 seniors who came through on Senior Night. “Twenty-two are four-year players. They’ve come a long way,” Garcia said. …

Big Valley Christian (4-4, 2-0) can take a huge step toward a second straight Central California Athletic Alliance title with a win at home over Brookside Christian (3-5, 2-1) on Friday night. The Lions’ 40-34 non-league loss at South Lake Tahoe last week was an odd affair plagued by 36-degree cold and 37 total penalties.  “We brought hand-warmers. The guys who struggled were the non-players and coaches,” BVC coach Brian Berkefeld said. … Downey coach Jeremy Plaa called the Knights’ 36-0 victory over Gregori “probably our best game of the year.” The Knights (5-3,2-1), lodged in second place behind Turlock in the Central California Athletic League race, travel to Turlock to meet Pitman. Downey hasn't won at Pitman in Plaa's 13-year term as coach. ...

Enochs (4-4, 1-2) trailed Turlock only 7-0 at halftime before falling 31-13. The Eagles did not score until the final 7 ½ minutes and managed only 26 rushing yards. “We have to work on the offense side,” said Enochs coach James Stacy, whose Eagles prepare for Modesto (1-7, 0-3) on Friday night at Downey. It will be Senior Night for Modesto, beaten last week by Pitman 21-0. The Panthers trailed only 7-0 until the fourth quarter. …

Central Catholic (4-4, 4-0), off last week, prepares for Kimball at Patton Field. The Raiders need the victory to set up the regular season-ending collision against Oakdale to decide the Valley Oak League title. ….Gregori coach Lamar Wallace said the Jaguars “don’t have time to wallow” going into Friday night’s home game against Turlock. … Modesto Junior College, minus Michael Ramos (fibula) and Isaac Sharp (ankle), resorted to a running back by committee to defeat an improved Sequoias team 44-21 in the Valley Conference opener. The Pirates (5-1, 1-0), travel to West Hills on Saturday at 1 p.m.