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Sierra cruises into quarterfinal round

Daniels nearly rushes for 200 yards in first half alone

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Sierra cruises into quarterfinal round

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POSTED November 21, 2009 2:08 a.m.
It was business as usual Friday for Sierra High.

In the opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Division III section playoffs, the No. 3 Timberwolves simply overpowered No. 14 Mira Loma of the Capital League at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium, rolling to a 59-6 win.

“We just asked for intensity coming into this game,” Sierra coach Jeff Harbison said. “I’m proud of the fact we were able to do just that.”

Business as usual included fullback Jarrod Daniels, who holds the school record in rushing and scoring, following his front line, scoring three times while finishing with a game-high 199 yards on 18 carries.

And he did it all in the first half.
Business as usual also meant the Timberwolves defense led by linebacker Cody Dias wreaking havoc in the Matadors backfield.

The 6-foot, 210-pound senior came up a first-quarter safety, recovered a fumble, and was in on five sacks.

“I thought (the safety) was big,” Dias said. “But it was really the guys up front who helped make things happen.”

Added Harbison: “We ran a lot of stunts and blitzes to help not just Cody but all of our linebackers.”

Business as usual was Sierra (10-1) jumping out to a huge lead and playing most of its reserves in the final two quarters.

“We brought up eight sophomores,” Harbison said. “Most of them saw action in the second half.”

It was no secret that Daniels would get plenty of touches early on.

Mira Loma (6-5) gambled with an onside kick to open the game, with the Timberwolves coming up with the ball at midfield.

From there, Daniels twice reeled off runs of chucks of yards, setting up his 7-yard touchdown run.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Matadors were pinned down at their own 1. Dias then stopped Desmond Smart in the end zone to register the safety.

Ahead 9-0, the Timberwolves were back in business two possessions later. Daniels had a 32-yard run and Aaron Manuta found his way for sizeable gains of 17 and 13 yards. His 9-yard touchdown run increased Sierra’s lead, 16-0.

Manuta, who had 103 yards on eight carries, scored again early in the second half.

“Aaron’s a shifty runner,” said Harbison. “We’re very fortunate to have him.”

Meanwhile, Sierra continued to have its way with Mira Loma.

Quarterback Jonathan Davis’ pass was nearly intercepted. But receiver Anthony Hall reached over the defender, snatching the ball away on what turned out to be a 23-yard reception.

On the next play, Daniels scored on a 15-yard run.

Early in the second quarter, Davis found his way to pay dirt, scoring on a 5-yard run. The drive was once again fueled by Daniels, who had 40- and 16- yard runs.

The Matadors didn’t help their cause, coming up with a poor punt to set up Hall’s 38-yard field goal, and trying a fourth-down pass play from punt position just before the intermission.

The play backfired, in turn, setting up Daniels’ third TD of the game.

Mira Loma’s lone score came on the ensuing kickoff, with Kenna McCord racing 90 yards on the return.

But the Timberwolves answered back with Davis finding Hall on a 54-yard touchdown strike.

At the half, Sierra was up 46-6.

Dias registered a pair of sacks early in the second half and also recovered a fumble.

Grant Widmer also came up with a fumble while backup quarterback Adrian Valencia added the final touches offensively with a 15-yard scoring run.

Up next for the Timberwolves is No. 6  Benicia, which defeated Patterson 26-20.

Sierra will host the second-round playoff game on the day after Thanksgiving.
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