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.
WESTON RANCH - The Cougars found a way to get the job done.
An action-packed 3-3 tie felt like a win for both Manteca High and visiting rival Sierra at Guss Schmiedt Field Friday night.
Manteca faces a must-win situation in Sonora on Friday, when the Buffaloes tangle with a squad just as desperate for a victory.
The Manteca and Sierra freshman football teams traded three-touchdown scoring runs, but it was the former that came out on top of a resounding 32-20 victory at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium last Thursday.
For four quarters on Friday both Manteca and Sierra high school sophomore teams battled in Valley Oak League action, but when time was complete the two clubs were tied 13-13.
Anthony Cota laughs last.
LATHROP – In what would have been a Lathrop High School Homecoming miracle, the Spartans did their best to pull off the unthinkable but couldn't come close in a 42-0 Valley Oak League loss Friday to the Oakdale Mustangs.
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.