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Wildfires begin 2018 with a bang

By: Nick Pecoraro
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HILMAR -- The nearly 300-mile round trip from Foresthill to Hilmar High School ended with a happy trek home.

After falling to Turlock Christian in a 28-26 overtime heartbreaker a year ago, the Foresthill Wildfires found redemption in Friday night’s season-opener against the Eagles at Hilmar High School with a 36-24 victory.

With the win, the Wildfires begin their season at 1-0 for the third straight season. Second-year head coach Steve Collier and company enter 2018 a rejuvenated bunch, who looks to build toward a its first winning season in five years.

“It got a little hairy for a bit,” said Collier of Friday’s game. “We made a ton of mistakes, but overall, when we watch film, it will be positive criticism.”

With Turlock Christian driving toward the red zone, senior defensive back Elias Estrada put the nail in the coffin with a 75-yard pick-six interception late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory for the Wildfires.

“They didn’t dink-and-dunk us,” said Collier of Turlock Christian. “They had two or three pass plays that caught us off guard, but we were able to control the clock.

“Big shout out to the offensive line, who I think only allowed one sack. They were the highest-graded position on the team tonight.”

Foresthill welcomes Esparto for its home-opener Aug. 24.