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Manteca mauls Sierra in final tune-up before big game at Central Catholic

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Manteca receiver Joel Olmos tries to run through the tackle of Sierra defender Anthony Salgado.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin/

POSTED October 8, 2016 1:40 a.m.

Manteca’s run of three straight shutouts ended, but with its 48-13 drubbing of Sierra at Guss Schmiedt Field on Friday night the Buffaloes have their sights set on the Valley Oak League’s premier programs with an unblemished record and momentum on their side.
For Sierra (1-2 VOL, 4-2 overall), there is still much for the Timberwolves to look forward to despite the loss. The Timberwolves travel to Tracy next week to take on Kimball, and Manteca heads to Modesto to take on four-time defending CIF small school state champion Central Catholic.
“We have to bounce back because we’re in the playoff hunt,” Sierra head coach Jeff Harbison said. “Our guys didn’t give up and that’s what we expect and that’s what we do. Unfortunately, we were on the wrong end of that tonight.”
Manteca (3-0, 6-0) wasted no time in marching 80 yards on the game’s first drive and setting up a 10-yard Gino Campiotti scamper for a touchdown – one of two that he would leg out on the night.
Sierra scored on a 45-yard Eriq Kurys field goal on the next drive, marking the first points given up by Manteca in the opening quarter of a game this season.
When the Buffaloes answered with a 17-yard touchdown scamper by Joel Olmos to extend the lead again, Sierra again marched down the field and lined up Kurys for another 45-yard field goal to end the first quarter at 14-6.
And the next two scores were also back and forth.
Jose Garcia found paydirt on the first drive of the second quarter, but Sierra answered back by forcing Manteca to punt and driving 95-yards to bring the game back into a one-score range.
Campiotti, who was featured more in the Manteca running game that he has in any contest this year, put his stamp on the first half when he connected with Presley Keltner on a 5-yard strike with just 36 ticks left on the clock – giving Manteca a two-touchdown lead that would only grow as the game drew on.
But a personal foul called on the last play of the second half put a blemish on the momentum – the sixth of the game for the Buffaloes as they entered the locker room at the half. Head coach Eric Reis said that the rivalry nature of the game raised tensions early on, but he was proud of his guys for staying focused during the game’s second half.
“We played a really good second half of football tonight, but there were a lot of penalties early on that we didn’t need,” Reis said. “The way that we went in at the half with a personal foul is just embarrassing, but for us to respond shows us and everybody else the kind of the team that we are.”
Manteca’s junior quarterback found the end zone one more time with his legs of the second half to finish the game with his best rushing totals of the season. On top of being 14-of-20 for 132 yards and 2 TDs, Campiotti also had 12 carries for 84 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He said that his feelings towards Sierra were the motivating factor in the contest.
“To be honest I’m just not a big fan of the other school,” Campiotti said about what kept him focused on the drives that were spliced together with his scrambles as well as his arm. “So I was willing to do anything that I had to do in order to get a win tonight, and I think that’s how our entire team felt.
“It was important for us to come back out in that second half tonight because we haven’t really had to play a second half of football yet this year, and it shows us more than anybody else that we could do it –that we had it within ourselves to make it happen when we needed to.”
While Sierra’s Mark Vicente put up solid numbers from the pocket – completing 17-of-35 passes for 244 yards and an interception – the majority of his 15 rushing yards, on 13 carries, came during the waning moments of the fourth quarter with a running clock. Sierra finished with only 25 total rushing yards, all of which came at the end of regulation.

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