On the 50th anniversary of the Central Valley-University football rivalry, it only took one half for the Bears to win for the 37th time in 60 meetings.
They boat-raced the Titans 47-14 with all but six of those points coming in the second-half.
Final score was deceiving because U-Hi outgained CV in total yards. The lion’s share of the credit in capturing the Greasy Pig trophy goes to the Bears’ defense, which picked off four passes – two by linemen – and recovered two fumbles, leading to five touchdowns. The biggest came in the third quarter, with the Bears up 13-0 but the Titans threatening.
Junior linebacker Hayden Wolrehammer dropped back in coverage, picked off the ball and scooted 60 yards to the Titans 9, setting up one Brandon McClung’s three TDs.
“It was a great play,” CV coach Rick Giampietri said. “That was a huge interception and great run afterward.”
Wolrehammer said he didn’t think he was going to break as many tackles as he did on the return.
“I didn’t know if there was a cutback lane or not. I just ran as fast as I could,” he said.
The Bears (5-1) were sluggish in the first half, but did manage to put six points on the board in the second quarter after the Titans opted to fake a punt on fourth down and the pass fell incomplete. Until then U-Hi had run 22 plays to CV’s four.
After intermission the fireworks began. A 49-yard run by McClung set up one touchdown and Wolrehammer’s pick the other. Following lineman Nick Ramberg’s interception, CV made it 26-0.
U-Hi scored seconds later on a Jeff Beaty 80-yard pass to Trevor Martin. Before quarter’s end, Adrian Bonner ripped off a 61-yard run and score.
The Titans euphoria was short-lived. CV scored three times in the fourth quarter, including a tricky fake reverse-pass that McClung took 72 yards.
“I just sneak out of the backfield and start going up,” he said. “We got it a couple of times this year.”
The other two scores came following Titans fumbles, one recovered by lineman J.D. Boden. In the first half he had tipped and intercepted a pass.
“We made adjustments at halftime, took the ball and ran it down their throat,” Giampietri said. “Then we just got a series of turnovers.”