Juneau-Douglas High School played a nearly flawless first half as the Crimson Bears cruised to a 50-25 win over visiting Lathrop on Saturday in both teams' Railbelt Conference football opener.
The Crimson Bears (2-0, 1-0 Railbelt) scored their first five possessions and turned three turnovers into 21 points to top the Malemutes (1-1, 0-1).
"Lathrop is a great team, and we've got a lot of respect for them," JDHS junior wide receiver Ryan Fagerstrom said. "They're really fast. We just had a good week of practice and stuck it to them."
Fagerstrom emerged as quarterback Chris Hinkley's favorite target in the game as the duo hooked up four times for touchdowns.
Fagerstrom hauled in six passes for 121 yards with four TDs. He also scored a two-point conversion.
Inside the Lathrop red zone, Hinkley quickly looked to Fagerstrom as the wide receiver exploited the Malemutes' man coverage defense.
"It's something me and Hinkley have worked on since we were in the J.V. a couple of years ago - just that one-on-one coverage," Fagerstrom said. "Our offensive line stepped it up today. They were a big part of it."
Hinkley picked apart the Malemutes' defense by utilizing a short passing game.
The junior quarterback completed 15 of 23 passes for 203 yards and four TDs.
"You have to be careful because Chris Hinkley is a very smart quarterback and he takes whatever you'll give him, whether it's a zone or man," JDHS head coach Bill Chalmers said. "He'll find the open man. He did that very well today, better than I've ever seen him do it."
Senior tailback Tres Saldivar led the Crimson Bears on the ground with 13 carries for 132 yards and two TDs.
Juneau-Douglas rushed to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter before Lathrop answered as running back Sid Johnson rumbled 71 yards to make the score 14-6.
The Crimson Bears added three more touchdowns in the first half to take a 33-6 advantage at halftime.
Lathrop refused to roll over in the second half, however, as Johnson scored his second TD of the game on the Malemutes' first possession. Cal Whitehill's extra point made the score 33-13.
Josh Lehauli put the game away on the ensuing kickoff, though, as he took the kick 90 yards for touchdown to seal the win.
Johnson led the Malemutes rushing attack with 164 yards and four TDs on 14 carries.
Lathrop quarterback Derrick Stevenson added 49 rushing yards on 14 carries. He also completed 4 of 14 passes for 129 yards and an interception in the rain.
"It's Juneau weather. We don't play in it well, and they play in it really well," Lathrop coach Patrick Romans said. "I don't want to take anything away from that football team. We didn't give anything away. That team just handled us."
Defensively for Juneau Douglas, Lehauli had an interception while Joe Kohan recovered two fumbles in the win.
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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