STOCKTON - It had the makings of a shootout and a possible upset.
It was a tale of two halves of football on Friday night.
LATHROP - Sonora scored in spurts Friday night, and Lathrop could only answer the first Wildcat touchdown.
MARIPOSA - Ripon Christian standout quarterback Danny Vos was rushed to a nearby hospital for a possible concussion during the Knights' 27-7 loss to Mariposa.
The head coaches of East Union and Sierra's football teams aren't downplaying the significance of their Week-5 contest.
East Union's sophomore football team made it clear from the start what it was going to try and do at Lathrop High Friday.
It all happened so quickly for Manteca High captain Joe Trout Friday night.
LATHROP -East Union head coach Willie Herrera was in search of some leaders on the team at the start of the season.
OAKDALE - Oakdale scored the game's last 35 points Friday night to come from behind and defeat visiting Sierra 45-14 at The Corral to open the Valley Oak League campaign.
Ripon High's fantastic start to the season was derailed by a 49-13 loss to host Hilmar Friday in a battle between two Trans-Valley League contenders.
RIPON – The Knights had enough of an offensive arsenal to put a scare in Southern League favorite Le Grand on Friday.
Lathrop High will try and notch its first Valley Oak League win in varsity play Friday when it hosts East Union on homecoming night.
No real scoop here: Oakdale High is the favorite to win the Valley Oak League, and with good reason.
The Trans-Valley League has long been considered one of the toughest, if not the toughest, small-school football conferences in the state.
The path to the California Interscholastic Federation State Championship Bowl Games is set for Le Grand, the runaway favorite in the Southern League.
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.