Football Wilson

CIF Football: Wilson, Pettway Dominant In Playoff Opener

Sometimes you just have to give the people what you want.

“I was actually listening to your guys podcast and I was just thinking that everyone is expecting this so why not go out and do what is expected of us?” Wilson quarterback Ryan Pettway said after delivering the predicted blowout in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 7 playoffs at home on Friday night.

Pettway set the school record for touchdown passes in a game with six as he led the Bruins to a 54-0 victory over Fullerton.

Wilson (10-1) will travel next week to face West Ranch in the second round. The Bruins are the No. 2 seed on the bracket, and this is the 40th win in the last five years under coach Mark Ziegenhagen.

“We saw a lot of things we could do but we didn’t want to open up the whole playbook and we just wanted to take what they gave us,” Ziegenhagen said. “That’s what Pettway did obviously.”

Pettway made all of his mistakes on the first drive of the game despite the fact that Wilson had scored on nine of its 10 first drives this season. The senior quarterback fumbled in the red zone and threw his only incompletion on fourth down and long.

Pettway proceeded to complete his next 11 straight pass attempts and finished with 306 yards. He threw three touchdowns to Nick Timko, and three touchdowns to Michael Bruner.

“I don’t really think ‘touchdown’ (in the huddle) but I think if they’re open just get it to them,” Pettway said of his junior receivers. “Those guys are fast so if they’re in open space I don’t think they’re getting caught by anyone.”

Bruner finished with five receptions for 119 yards. Timko caught all three of his touchdowns in the first half on his only three receptions of 35, 60 and 50 yards.

“He’s probably 5’9 145-pounds soaking wet, but he plays like he’s 180 and doing it a long time,” Ziegenhagen said of Timko. “He’s just an athlete and a kid that gives us that seam threat for us. We’re proud of the way he’s progressed all year.”

While the Wilson offense lit up the scoreboard, the Bruins defense was solid without captain Soloman Bowie on the field while he deals with an injury.

Wilson held Fullerton to negative rushing yards and only three first downs until the running-clock fourth quarter. The Bruins also forced four turnovers. Clint Stephens had two interceptions, and Leroy Crook also had a pick. It was the first shoutout of the season for Wilson.

Ziegenhagen said his team was extra focused this week at practice after a close regular season finale against Millikan.

“Millikan was a much better team than people gave them credit for, but it was a wake up call,” Pettway said. “We were just kind of lackadaisical, taking all of it for granted, but we were able to turn it up this week and get going.”

Wilson running back Dillon Harris rushed for 101 yards and touchdown on 11 carries.

Pettway now has a school record 60 career touchdown passes.

“We’ve been in the playoff the last two years so it doesn’t feel different, but it feels different to win,” Pettway added.

This is the first playoff win for Wilson since reaching the Division 6 semifinals in 2016.

VIDEO: Wilson vs. Fullerton, CIF Football

PHOTOS: Wilson vs. Fullerton, CIF Football

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.