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.
RIPON – The Indians were locked in a dog-fight of a homecoming game battle against Hughson.
Sierra's freshman football team fired on all cylinders in its crosstown confrontation at East Union last Thursday.
There was no mistaking the more dominant team Friday as the Sierra Timberwolves followed an impressive win over the Oakdale Mustangs with a one-sided blowout of the visiting East Union Lancers.
For the better part of the Manteca-Weston Ranch freshman football game the squads played close in an intense Valley Oak League match up. The Buffaloes held an ever so slim12-8 at the intermission.
It only took Manteca 3 minutes and 40 seconds to start celebrating its first touchdown, but Weston Ranch had no desire to be a Homecoming blowout. The Cougars showed a bit of resiliency yet still fell to Manteca High 34-6 Friday.
The Sierra High Timberwolves made plenty of the right reads at Friday's homecoming game against East Union.
SALIDA - Modesto Christian capped the school's 50-year anniversary celebration and Homecoming festivities with a fireworks show immediately after Friday's Trans-Valley League showdown with Ripon.
Andrew Brown has had his fair share of success throughout his brief varsity career, but his performance Friday in a 50-14 win over Denair is not something even Ripon Christian fans have grown accustomed to.
The Valley Oak League schedule is in full-stride and the Weston Ranch Cougars put themselves in a slightly better position Friday with a 3-1 victory over host Kimball High in Tracy.
Sierra High's sophomore football team definitely earned its first Valley Oak League victory of the season, holding off a determined Oakdale squad in a 21-20 victory Friday at Sierra High.
It was all East Union from the opening, jumping out on Lathrop 28-0 by halftime in its Valley Oak League opening win Thursday in freshman football.
ESCALON – Ripon High atoned for nearly two decades of frustration with a thrilling 34-28 Trans Valley League victory over the Escalon Cougars at Engel Field.
With two touchdown passes and another running, East Union sophomore quarterback Lucas Garcia helped pull his Lancers atop the Valley Oak League standings with a 28-7 win over Lathrop High in the league opener for both teams.
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.