TURLOCK -- Joe Lewis silently bowed his head Sunday as Ted Ginn Jr. ran out of running room in the waning moments of Super Bowl XLVII.
The man who had coached 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in junior high school had nothing left to say. Just like his favorite team, which had fallen 34-31 to the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans.
There was nothing he or his protégé could do about it now.
So it went across this close-knit farming community along Highway 99 just south of Modesto. Friends and citizens gathered in homes across Kaepernick Country to watch their favorite son try to lead the 49ers in a heart-wrenching, sweat-inducing finish.
When faint hope remained in the final 2 minutes, Lewis inched toward a widescreen television like a tiger ready to pounce.
"Breathe through your eyes," said Lloyd Souza, who named Kaepernick his quarterback as a 9-year-old in Turlock's Youth Football League.
The town did its best to rally around Kaepernick, who moved with his family to the Central Valley when he was 4. Nothing has shined the spotlight on Turlock like the sudden ascent of the former Pitman High three-sport star.
"It's like Neil Armstrong landed on the moon," Mayor John Lazar said.
Lazar, the town's mayor since 2006, wore a Kaepernick T-shirt Sunday. His wife, Nellie, served Kaepernick cookies.
"Turlock is alive," his Honor said. "Everyone is so charged. You would think you're in San Francisco."
Minus the skyscrapers, Fisherman's Wharf and, well, you get the idea.
But an hour before the game, the downtown was hopping for a Sunday afternoon in the "City of God." Folks gathered at a local bar where Bay Area and Sacramento TV crews set up shop.
The festivities started the day before at Kaepernick's alma mater. The town held a pep rally where 2,000 townspeople appeared. Some of Angie Macfarlane's ninth graders kept asking, "Is Colin going to appear?"
Forgive their exuberance. It has been a bit batty in a community once known for almond orchards. Lisa Fernandes, owner of Lisa's Cookie Jar, was washing dishes before the game just to catch up. She was experiencing a hangover after selling "hundreds and hundreds and hundreds" of Kaepernick cookies.
A woman drove 45 miles from Tracy on Friday to buy her last six creations. Another woman wanted to drive from Las Vegas to get some of the goodies.
Nellie Lazar wasn't the only enterprising resident to bake her own. Macfarlane had an array of homemade Kaepernick cookies and cupcakes for a Super Bowl spread with her family that included husband Curtice Macfarlane, Pitman's offensive line coach when Kaepernick played at the school.
The Ravens signed Curtice in 2000 when Baltimore went to the Super Bowl. He never made it in the NFL but got to know Ray Lewis among others who played Sunday.
Macfarlane didn't waver in rooting for the 49ers even when it looked bleak in the second quarter when Baltimore led 21-3.
"It's up to Kaep now," the former San Jose State and SaberCats lineman said.
Turlock hasn't enjoyed many sporting notables. Here are two: Dave Maggard, a 1968 Olympic shot putter and former Cal athletic director, and Dot Jones, a world arm-wrestling champion who plays Shannon on "Glee."
Not that folks with a front-row seat expected the explosion of Kaepernicking and Super Bowl mania.
"He's the only one who fantasized a Super Bowl," said Mick Tate, his Pitman baseball coach.
During a recent visit by Kaepernick to Turlock, Tate recounted inspecting Kaepernick's arms.
" 'They're kind of scary,' I said," Tate recounted during the 49ers' third-quarter rally.
In the fourth quarter, when the 49ers couldn't pull off another rousing finish, Joe Lewis got to muttering at the television. On a controversial non-call in the end zone that many thought was pass interference, Lewis lamented, "How can they not call that?"
On this sunny day in the Central Valley, that's the way the Kaepernick cookie crumbled.
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.