Before he ever gained a yard for the Manteca High football program, Eddie Smith knew what he wanted.
A scheduling oddity has Ripon High's football team ending its regular season a week earlier than most teams in the Sac-Joaquin Section this Friday.
SONORA - The Sierra Timberwolves freshman football team scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, stunning the Sonora Wildcats with a 35-34 come-from-behind win Thursday in Sonora.
Sierra High's sophomore football team had an opportunity to seize control of the inside track to the Valley Oak League championship, but could not take advantage in a 31-21 loss to the Sonora Wildcats Friday at home.
Kimball High might be the best two-win team in the entire state.
The only thing that could slow down Anthony Cota, Sierra High's dynamic running back, in Friday's Valley Oak League contest with visiting Sonora was a momentary bout with a stomach illness.
RIPON – Everything looked to be humming along quite nicely for the Ripon Indians at the end of the first quarter.
LATHROP – After opening the contest with a 14-play, 80-yard scoring drive, the Manteca Buffaloes' defensive unit provided a stop on fourth-and-4 from midfield and the rout was on. When it was all said and done, Lathrop High was left coping with a 56-0 Valley Oak League loss Friday at Bennie Gatto Field.
It was nearly mission impossible for Weston Ranch High Friday.
Ripon Christian can reach unprecedented heights this Friday.
RIPON – The Delhi Hawks had no interest in leaving Ripon without a win.
In a game marred by penalties and mistakes, the Sierra High Timberwolves were able to hang on for a 21-6 Valley Oak League football win Friday in sophomore league action against Kimball.
TRACY – It took less than four minutes Friday night to see the game plan of both the Sierra Timberwolves and the host Kimball Jaguars unfold.
It's never an easy game at Sonora High's Dunlavy Field for opposing teams, especially when the Wildcats are celebrating homecoming.
Oakdale High got all it needed with a 28-point outburst in the opening quarter before letting the reserves take over from there in a 54-6 drubbing of East Union Friday at The Corral.
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.