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Buffs coast past Ceres on Homecoming night

VOL title still a possibility with Oakdale next

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Buffs coast past Ceres on Homecoming night

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POSTED October 24, 2009 3:28 a.m.
Manteca High took care of business against Ceres.

In the 41-0 victory, the Buffaloes scored twice on special teams, three times on the ground, and once in the air during the homecoming affair.

The Bulldogs’ record spoke for itself: 0-4 in Valley Oak League play, 0-7 overall.

“We did what we were supposed to against Ceres,” Manteca coach Eric Reis said on Friday.

His team now controls its destiny.

The Buffaloes (3-1, 5-2) are in the driver’s seat towards a playoff berth and possibly a share of the VOL title, especially with Sonora’s 17-7 win over previously undefeated Sierra. Sierra beat Manteca 23-15 on Oct. 9.

Manteca heads to defending champion and 7-0  Oakdale next week.

“It also validates our win of last week against Sonora, which is proving to be a very good team,” Reis added.

Against Ceres, Reggie Bell took a gamble early on that quickly paid off.  Manteca’s senior punt returner scooped a ball that took a bounce or two between a pair of defenders on coverage. From there, Bell found daylight thanks in part to some great open-field blocking, racing 60 yards for the touchdown.

Later in the first quarter, the Buffalo quarterback Matt Barber orchestrated a drive, hitting Bradley Hatfield on a 17-yard pass play to set up his 7-yard scoring strike to Robert Ladiges.

The Manteca defense all but put the game out of reach in the second quarter, with Richie Lopez recovering a fumble at the Ceres 3 – he pounced on the botched pitchout by the Bulldogs – leading to Marquis Miller scoring on the next play.

Moments later Matt Carter intercepted a pass that led to another touchdown by Miller, who enjoyed a game-high 80 yards on 20 carries.

The Buffaloes made it 34-0 shortly before intermission. Bell’s 62-yard punt return was nearly a carbon copy of the earlier scoring play.

The reserves played most of the second half. Zach Gase, for one, made the most of his opportunities in carrying the ball.

Late in the game, he went 50 yards to score on a fourth-down play. This came moments after his 45-yard touchdown run was nullified because of a penalty.

“Hats off to Ceres for battling us throughout the game,” Reis said.

But Manteca’s suffocating defense and the big plays on special teams proved to be too much for the Bulldogs, who managed 70 overall yards while registering just two first downs.
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