Things got off to a favorable start for Ripon Christian, but its good luck would not hold.
East Union thought it could win its season opener against Beyer at Modesto Junior College Sept. 3.
Mike James isn't buying the hype. Jeff Harbison is.
After putting together a weak performance over the first two quarters of their Valley Oak League football opener, the Sierra Timberwolves sophomores fought back, only to make it interesting in a 40-22 loss to Oakdale High Friday at Sierra High.
MANTECA – Late in the second quarter Thursday Matt Wilkerson got a bit more than the 8 yards he needed for a first down when he lumbered 36 yards for a touchdown to give the Manteca freshmen the lead for good in a 22-8 Valley Oak League football victory over Kimball at Guss Schmiedt Field.
The beginning of the end started when the Oakdale Mustangs opened the second half at their own 10-yard line and methodically chewed up nearly the entire third quarter, marching 90 yards for an eventual A.C. Brown touchdown that stripped Sierra High of a chance at victory in a 33-15 defeat Friday at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
Homecoming is often a time for celebration.
The Manteca Buffaloes could not have drawn up a more perfect opening to the Valley Oak League season, blasting the Kimball Jaguars 62-0 in their first-ever VOL contest Friday at Kimball High.
RIPON - Hilmar High's grand return to the Trans Valley League wasn't so grand.
LE GRAND – Ripon Christian received a rude Southern League welcome from the host Le Grand Bulldogs on Friday.
Over the past decade, there has been one constant amongst the elite teams in the Valley Oak League and that's the fact that to become the champion, one usually has to beat the champion. In Friday's VOL opener for Sierra and Oakdale highs, that hurdle will be cleared immediately by the winning squad.
Oakdale and Sierra are the defending co-champions of the Valley Oak League.
For two programs that struggled mightily throughout the 2009 season, that is not the case thus far this campaign. Lathrop High is enjoying back-to-back victories for the first time in school history and the East Union Lancers have not been 3-0 since Bill Clinton was president.
Graduation turnover along with some injuries to key players has suddenly made the always-competitive Trans Valley League race a wide-open one - for second place.
WESTON RANCH - The Cougars (2-1) finally put together a solid overall effort at Podesto Field.
RIPON – The Ripon Christian Knights were fueled by a tough defense in a one-sided victory over Stone Ridge Christian at Stouffer Field on Friday.
MODESTO - The East Union defense was able to bottle up Gregori's high-octane attack and its star running back for a half Friday night at Don Lanphear Stadium.
MODESTO – Two high school football programs looking to change their stars collided on Friday evening at Modesto Junior College.
SONORA – If the game could have been summed up by a single play, this was it.
East Union, Ripon and Weston Ranch each garnered their first victory of 2014 last week, but backing it up with another won't be easy as all three hit the road this Friday to meet opponents with winning records.
Mason James averaged more than 10 yards per carry for East Union High in a Lancers ground game that racked up 275 yards in a 37-0 non-league win for Johansen on Friday.
A long wait did not bother the Lathrop High freshman football team on Thursday.
Weston Ranch used a balanced attack while the defense forced five turnovers to upend host Galt 33-20 Friday night at Erv Hatzenbuhler Field.
East Union coach Willie Herrera put the future of the football program on the shoulders of a sophomore quarterback.
LATHROP - Ripon showed what it can do against a team of athletes its own size Friday at Lathrop's Bennie Gatto Field.
The Manteca High defense rarely had a chance to see the field in the first quarter of Friday's game against Enochs High School at Guss Schmiedt Field.
STOCKTON – The Sierra High Timberwolves continued its early season dominance Friday, rolling past Chavez, 63-24.
The Lathrop and Ripon football teams are at a crossroads heading into their pivotal Week 2 matchup at Bennie Gatto Field.
Willie Herrera knows just how close his East Union football team came to winning its season opener two weeks ago.
Manteca and Sierra are looking to carry undefeated records going into their bye week and Valley Oak League schedule, but standing in the way are upset-minded opponents looking to make a splash of their own.