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Late game heroics notch Heryford Athlete of the Week

Lodi's Michael Graumann and Tokay's Joseph Heryford reach for an incomplete pass during their hometown rivalry game at the Grape Bowl in Lodi Friday night, Nov. 3, 2017. (Bea Ahbeck/News-Sentinel)

Accomplishments: Joseph Heryford has endured many injuries this year.

But the Tokay High football player inflected pain on Tri-City Athletic League and cross-town rival Lodi in their regular season finale at the Grape Bowl on Friday. The senior wide receiver scored the go-ahead touchdown, which helped the Tigers post a 19-14 win over the Flames, who were eliminated from a Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berth. Tokay ended its season at 2-3 in the TCAL, 4-6 and Lodi 1-4, 4-6.

Lodi led 14-13 with 1:41 remaining in the game. Running a hitch pattern, Heryford caught the ball from quarterback Daniel Garlick, then streaked down the Tigers’ sidelines 40 yards for the touchdown. The play called for Heryford to line up on the weak side of the offensive line, meaning teammates and himself would need to block and creating running lanes for him if he broke into the open field.

“It was a one step and be ready for it,” said Heryford of the play. “Honestly, when I caught the ball, I saw the corner playing off coverage off me, so I knew I would have a little bit of time. When I caught the ball, I used a wiggle move to make him think I was going to (go out of bounds), and I bounced out. I noticed I beat the corner (back). Originally, I was just going to go out of bounds.”

To read the entire News-Sentinel article, please click HERE.

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