The close to the Valley Oak League season played a major role in the formation of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III Football Championships bracket, but nothing could alter the extended seasons for Manteca, East Union and Sierra high's football programs once the brackets were revealed Saturday evening.
Manteca High had little trouble coming back from a close loss to the Oakdale Mustangs, taking care of business in the Valley Oak League finale with a convincing win over the East Union Lancers Friday.
MANTECA – Although Manteca freshman football coach Jon Shaefer was concentrating on his team's 40-8 win over visiting East Union on Thursday in the Valley Oak League finale, he couldn't help but look over the Lancers' bleachers to the east at Guss Schmiedt Field and wonder what was happening up the hill at Dunlavy Field where Oakdale was visiting Sonora.
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.
RIPON - To Ripon, the 2014 season started for real on Friday night.
LATHROP – Statistically, it might have been Devin Nunez's worst performance under center for Sierra.
MODESTO – East Union, meet Justin Rice.
STOCKTON – A time-consuming drive late in the game Friday helped the Weston Ranch High Cougars slip past visiting Kimball, 18-14.
RIPON – Billy Marr engineered two scoring drives in the final three minutes as Ripon Christian completed a come-from-behind victory on Friday evening.
For three years, Billy Sharmoug and Isaac McClain were the big men on the Manteca High campus.
It looks like the Manteca High football team will have its big stars for the big game.
A suffocating defense and high-octane offense led the Manteca offense to a 34-0 drubbing of visiting Lathrop on Thursday in Valley Oak League freshmen action at Guss Schmiedt Field.
L.J. Alofaituli grimaced as he struggled to catch his breath.
Jeff Harbison pointed to the scoreboard hanging over the crowd at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium, inviting everyone to take one last look.
LE GRAND – Billy Marr never saw the rush.
LATHROP – It was a game of momentum. And a game of inches.
In his three years as head coach of the East Union High Lancers, Willie Herrera had yet to celebrate a homecoming victory.
OAKDALE – Weston Ranch stayed poised and battled through the night but left Oakdale on the short end of a 48-0 score.
The compliments have come rushing in for the Sierra High football team and its defensive leader, Trevon McCray. He's been called "the best player on the field" by Ripon coach Chris Johnson following the Timberwolves' season-opening 54-7 victory. Teammates often refer to the middle linebacker as an "animal" for his tenacious play on Friday evenings.