Manteca High and East Union were locked in a classic battle Friday at Dino Cunial Field.
NEWMAN - Almost everything went right for Ripon High in the first half Friday against Orestimba in a game that both teams needed for a Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoff berth.
WESTON RANCH - The Sierra Timberwolves had one opportunity to close out their season with a win and continue into the Sac-Joaquin Section postseason, and they didn't forfeit the chance, jumping out to a seven-touchdown first half lead on their way to a 53-6 win Friday over Weston Ranch.
RIPON – The Knights closed out the season in spectacular fashion Friday at Stouffer Field.
TRACY – Lathrop came out in the third quarter and got two scores via the no-huddle offense and take a one-point lead, but an 80-yard scoring run by Kimball's Zack Johnson put the Jaguars ahead to stay in the 26-21 Valley Oak League win for Kimball at Don Nicholson Stadium.
Fourteen Sac-Joaquin Section playoff tickets have already been punched.
It's been a long time since the East Union-Manteca game, the oldest rivalry in the area, has meant something for all parties involved.
For Sierra it's for the right to continue its season.
Things were looking bleak for Ripon High's football team a month ago.
The Sierra High Timberwolves continued their winning ways Friday in a 34-7 Valley Oak League win over the Lathrop Spartans.
After just nine offensive plays Sierra had put up five touchdowns Thursday on the way to a 51-13 Valley Oak League freshman win over Lathrop at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
It was a game of inches (and pounds): Manteca High cornerback David Farrington, generously listed at 5-foot-7, 154 pounds, versus behemoth Oakdale fullback A.C. Brown - all 6-2, 215 pounds of him.
LATHROP - Trailing by two touchdowns with less than a minute remaining in the first half, Lathrop had an opportunity from the Sierra High 15-yard-line to pull within a score, but that opportunity passed by and so did the Spartans chance at victory in a 49-7 blowout.
Sonora High was coming off back-to-back Valley Oak League losses, and that was all the motivation the Wildcats would need in a 68-20 blowout of the visiting East Union Lancers Friday.
RIPON – Alex Gustin wanted to test his ailing leg.
One by one, Jeff Harbison met the tear-drenched faces of his players with a smile and congratulatory embrace for their efforts of a successful season, but one that ended sooner than they had hoped.
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.