Manteca High has been at its best in the second half of its big games this season, while Sierra tends to struggle over the final 24 minutes.
ESCALON - Early in the first quarter, Ripon High met the challenge of stopping Escalon's potent offense on first and second down, but its excellence shined through when the Cougars needed it most during their 45-13 blowout over Ripon Friday at Engle Field.
East Union High kept pace in the Valley Oak League race, but needed a big play by Teejay Gordon to secure the hard-fought 31-21 win over Weston Ranch at Dino Cunial Field.
The Lathrop Spartans got a visit from the defending co-Valley Oak League champion Oakdale Mustangs and it got out of control in a hurry, with Oakdale laying a 49-0 beating on Friday.
The Ripon Christian Knights were no strangers to the Denair Coyotes.
Eric Reis couldn't wait to watch last week's epic East Union-Sierra rivalry game on film, perhaps more so as a football fan than as Manteca High's head coach scouting for strengths and weaknesses.
Misfortune has played an unfair role in Ripon High's less-than-stellar start to the season, but the Indians have an ample opportunity in front of them when they make the 13-mile trip to Escalon to take on the Cougars Friday at Engle Field.
The Sierra High sophomore football team provided its varsity teammates with a perfect intro to set up their thrilling victory over East Union, posting a dominating 55-6 thrashing of the Lancers sophomore team Friday at Sierra.
Garrett DeVillianueva set up a touchdown with a long punt return and scored on another to lead Sierra High to a 21-6 Valley Oak League freshman football victory over host East Union High on Thursday at Dino Cunial Field.
The big-time players made some big-time plays, but an unlikely hero emerged in Sierra High's 30-28 heart-pumping and much-needed win over persistent East Union Friday at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
When the preseason schedules ended and the East Union Lancers were toting around a perfect 3-0 record, some people felt that being 3-0 is only a big deal to the teams that aren't expected to be 3-0.
The game plan went accordingly for Manteca High on Friday.
Dunleavy Field is one of the more special venues in the Valley Oak League, but the Sonora Wildcats are never gracious hosts.
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.
The last day to purchase tickets for the Manteca High football team's rooters' buses is Wednesday, Aug. 20.
Lathrop Jr. Spartans president Jaime Hernandez has a vision.
LATHROP - To borrow a phrase from John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High," the Lathrop Lions are coming home to a place they have never been before.
So, how does Sierra replace one of the Sac-Joaquin Section's most prolific passers of 2013?
Keith Jackson is picking up where he left off last fall, when he rallied generations of Manteca High alumni to cheer the Buffaloes' historic postseason run.
Second-year Lathrop coach Steven Wichman has a better idea of what his team can do with pads on this time around.
The Sac-Joaquin Section's preseason Dead Period doesn't begin until Monday.
Weston Ranch's football players weren't the only ones hard at work this offseason.
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