Well, that’s one way to start the season.
In an epic scoring battle that started out looking like a blowout but which ended up a tighter than expected game thanks to the newest/best/gutsiest arm in town, Petaluma beat Montgomery 55-42 Friday night.
Petaluma roared out to a 21-0 lead before the Vikings were roused into action. And it was largely thanks to junior quarterback Joey Thresh’s arm. Thresh threw for 450 yards and seven touchdowns.
And the Vikings still lost.
“Offensively they are a very talented team with good athletes,” said Petaluma head coach Rick Krist. “I thought Joey played a phenomenal game with the pressure that we put on him and him getting some of those throws in. He really battled.”
But the Trojans battled as well, and perhaps no one more than junior cornerback and halfback Garrett Freitas.
Friday night was a coming out party of sorts for the first year varsity player.
Freitas averaged 5.2 yards on 10 carries Friday night. But here’s another stat line: He ripped off successive returns for touchdowns, each of dazzling length and speed.
He ran one back for a 75-yard TD and another for 80 yards.
He scored three touchdowns Friday night in his first varsity outing — all in the first half.
And both of those returns seemed to take the juice out of a resurgent Vikings squad.
“Awesome,” Krist said. “He played great on offense. Very poised.”
Before the game, Krist signaled what might be to come from Freitas, saying the kid had “opened our eyes” with his work rate and speed.
On the defensive side, Freitas got burned a few times but that was because Montgomery has a receiving corps that is wildly talented.
“They are as good as any player in the whole county,” Krist said of Montgomery’s Auston Rapolla and B.J. Johnson. “They are very special.”
Krist, forced to play his home games on Casa Grande’s field as Petaluma’s surface is being reworked, said Luke Haggard was the anchor defensively Friday night.
“The guy is a beast,” he said. “He’s a guy that is going to be playing at the next level for sure.”
“We have a lot to be proud of tonight,” Krist told his players after the game. “You answered to some good athletes but you guys were pretty good too.”
The Trojans finished 7-4 overall last season and 5-1 in the Sonoma County League behind Analy.
The Vikings are a former powerhouse trying to rebuild.
Montgomery went 10-22 overall in the past three seasons, including going winless in the North Bay League last season.
Thresh has all the confidence in the world to throw the ball and time and time again Friday night, he connected with a series of Vikings’ receivers to keep Montgomery in the hunt.
And a good many other times he hit guys on the numbers only to see the ball pop loose.
Thresh is going to have to remain tough, the NBL will be a grind. Rancho Cotate returns superstar quarterback, senior Jake Simmons and Cardinal Newman, well the Cardinals just always seem to be loaded.