This Friday marks a special moment in Lathrop High history.
The Manteca High sophomore team put together an impressive showing, hanging tough with a talented Los Banos squad before pulling away with a 47-30 win Friday at Manteca High.
Manteca High took Los Banos' best punch early, wobbled to its feet and for a short time turned the tide in this battle of tradition-rich heavyweights Friday at Guss Schmiedt Field.
At one point Ripon Christian had landed its second punch, trailed by a point and seemed to be in for a fight for the Ripon Rivalry Bowl Trophy. By the end of the night, Ripon High asserted itself in a big way, extending its Ripon Bowl victory streak to seven games with a 62-13 win Friday.
LATHROP – The Spartans had finally got their groove back.
The Sierra Timberwolves came out firing on all cylinders Friday against Laguna Creek of Elk Grove.
WESTON RANCH – It took Gary Norwood 18 seconds to erase a perfect Weston Ranch defensive first half. Returning the second half kickoff 91 yards and erasing a 6-0 Tokay deficit and erasing the Tigers' deficit for good.
Manteca's regular-season record of 25-5 over the past three years is matched or bettered by few in the Sac-Joaquin Section.
Manteca High's freshman football team overcame a sloppy start with a dominating second-half effort that culminated into a 35-14 win over visiting Capital Christian's sophomore squad last Thursday.
The Manteca Buffaloes sophomore team was able to open the 2012 season in grand fashion, jumping to an early lead and cruising to a 41-8 blowout of Edison High in both teams' season opener in Stockton.
RIPON – In a game desecrated with stoppage, after stoppage, after stoppage Ripon Christian exercised the same strengths that allowed them to dictate the first half, in closing out Elliot Christian's last-ditch effort namely a Brandon Dotinga interception.
RIPON - Before Ripon High kicked off its home opener against Linden Friday night, a ceremony was staged to recognize the efforts of the Ripon Community Athletic Foundation and many others who helped get most of Phase 1 of the Stouffer Field Revitalization Project finished in time for kickoff.
STOCKTON – An intense dose of Eddie Smith, superior secondary play from Manteca combined with an overmatched Edison Vikings squad and the Buffaloes cruised to a 34-6 season-opening win Friday.
After matching intensity through the first quarter, East Union simply could not keep pace with host Orestimba High, falling to the Warriors 31-13 Friday in Newman.
The Weston Ranch Cougars were able to do something the squad hasn't done since 2005, edging out Franklin in double-overtime for a 28- 26 win.
Will Kamps found solace in his teammates following the Ripon Christian Knights' Sac-Joaquin Section VI playoff loss to No. 1 seed Capital Christian.
Zak Burden made big plays with his arms and legs, and on the game's final sequence it was he who fittingly punctuated No. 10 Rio Linda's 49-44 upset of No. 2 Sierra in Friday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division III quarterfinal at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
SACRAMENTO -The better athletes won out on this day.
Down to their final play, Dakarai Charles threw toward the corner of the end zone with confidence.
Fade to black.
A year ago, Manteca put an emphatic stamp on its fourth Sac-Joaquin Section championship with a runaway victory over a first-time finalist.
Ripon Christian is well aware of what it's up against tonight.
Sophomores have long been a part of Sierra's winning formula this season, but when Brandon Arreola burst around the corner and into the end zone this was something new.
Behind the goal posts, shagging footballs blasted through the uprights during warm-ups, Sierra's Marissa LaQuaglia makes no illusions about her role on Friday nights.
Ripon Christian appeared to have an Andrew Brown clone in the form of junior tail back Brian Sytsma.
The third time was the charm for Eric Reis and his Manteca High football team.
Confetti wafted in the air above the home bleachers and players were met with hugs and high-fives at every turn.
GARDEN VALLEY – The Ripon Christian Knights relied on a strong second-half surge to roll past Golden Sierra in Friday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI playoff opener.
It was the kind of moment that can take the air out of a stadium.
By now, the Sac-Joaquin Section football playoff brackets have been dissected and analyzed by anyone with a rooting interest or a job to do.