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Rude awakening

Daniels, Sierra welcomes Lathrop to varsity level

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Rude awakening

Lathrop's Angel Wilson (32) and Andrew Aquino try to stop Sierra running back Jarrod Daniels.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED September 12, 2009 2:35 a.m.
LATHROP — Adjusting to varsity speed will be a challenge for seniorless Lathrop this season.

Adjusting to Sierra’s quick-paced, no-huddle offense in the Spartans’ first-ever varsity contest is another thing.

Sierra running back Jarrod Daniels accumulated 138 yards and four touchdowns on just seven carries all during a 35-point first quarter, and Timberwolves rolled to a 55-0 triumph Friday at Spartan Stadium.

Sierra, coming off its first-ever Sac-Joaquin Section playoff appearance, simply outclassed Lathrop in every aspect, but head coach Jesse Rodriguez was impressed with the fight and collective attitude his Spartans showed from whistle to whistle.

“It’s a building process — I understand it and I believe the kids understand it, and that’s why they didn’t quit for 48 minutes,” he said. “We’re going to play a bunch of other good schools, so it is what it is.

“If we see that kind of speed like we saw tonight, we could adjust and learn from it. It’s a learning experience.”

Lathrop running back/linebacker Andrew Aquino, one of 12 sophomores on the team, admittedly had trouble keeping up physically. He played nearly every down on both sides of scrimmage and led the team offensively with 11 rushing yards on seven touches.

“I feel kind of beat up, but I have to live through it,” Aquino said. “If you want to keep playing you just have to keep playing your best and do your job.”

The Timberwolves imposed their will at the start. Their first five drives resulted in touchdowns, with each series lasting no longer than four plays. Daniels’ touchdown runs went for 20, 30, 32 and 12 yards.

“We couldn’t even tackle Daniels, he’s a great back,” Rodriguez said. “Sierra’s a good team, and I think they’re going to the playoffs again. We could have played better, but the kids didn’t quit and that’s what I’m happy with.”

Quarterback Jonathan Davis rushed five times for 40 yards and a score and was also 2-of-4 passing for 30 yards in limited time.

Reserve signal caller Adrian Valencia scored twice in the second half, and back-up tailback Aaron Manuta scampered for 91 yards — nearly half coming off a 46-yard jaunt to the end zone in the second quarter on six attempts.

Manuta also picked off a pass in the third quarter and returned it 46 yards.

Sierra’s defense yielded just 52 total yards of offense (nine in the first half) and recovered three fumbles for turnovers.

“We wanted to limit our mistakes and play clean football,” Sierra coach Jeff Harbison said. “We did that. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Lathrop’s kids. They came out tonight and played four quarters of clean and aggressive football.

“They’re a bunch of sophomores and juniors right now, and I have nothing but respect for what the coaches of Lathrop High have done.”
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