Use any of the clichés you want to describe the situation that Sierra High found itself in going into Friday's regular season finale at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium, but its back was against the wall.
For the better part of the first two quarters, the Lathrop High Spartans stood toe to toe with Kimball.
Andrew Brown this. Andrew Brown that.
Christian Williams might be the most dynamic return man in the nation. On one leg even.
Lathrop, East Union and Weston Ranch didn't produce the results they hoped for prior to the start of the season.
Manteca is in at Division III.
Make it seven straight shutouts for the Ripon Chiefs junior varsity.
The lights to Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium remained lit hours after a rivalry was put to rest early Saturday morning.
Down but not out.
Alex Laurel didn't disappoint a capacity crowd Friday at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium, a game that would decide the Valley Oak League champion.
Isaac McClain and Billy Sharmoug led Manteca out of the locker room and through a banner that read "Roll on you Buffs" - the team's rallying cry on first-down conversions.
STOCKTON - The Weston Ranch Cougars escaped Friday with a 20-19 Valley Oak League victory over East Union.
RIPON – Nothing Michael Morris ever does is easy.
It's officially Le Grand week for Ripon Christian.
OAKDALE - Lathrop dropped to 1-8 after a 56-21 loss to 5-4 Oakdale at The Corral.
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.
Eric Reis has been known to share stories of Manteca High's grid-iron glory of years past with his players.