Ripon Christian made its statement loud and clear Friday.
Oakdale ran two plays in the fourth quarter - a punt to get the running clock going, and a kneel-down from quarterback Spencer Thomas on the Mustang 5-yard line as time expired at Sierra's Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium Friday.
Oakdale High has captured at least a share of eight of the last 10 Valley Oak League championships, including the previous five in succession.
The Trans-Valley League season kicks off tonight with four undefeated teams, one other with a winning record and two sitting at the .500 mark.
The Southern League championship still goes through Le Grand, the three-time reigning titlist.
Anthony Cota and the rest of the Timberwolves from Sierra High have unfinished business to attend to on a Friday night jam-packed with marquee matchups.
Things did not work out well for the visiting East Union Lancers sophomore football team, as Modesto High handled them thoroughly in a 41-7 loss on Friday.
After scoring on its opening possession for the second week in a row Manteca High watched Stagg answer its opening score with a 55-yard touchdown run of its own. That would be the only answer Stagg would find in the 62-6 drubbing last Thursday in freshman football.
Last week, a pulverizing ground-game plagued the Manteca Buffaloes.
LATHROP – The Lathrop Spartans had a variety of incentives to post a win in their final non-league matchup Friday night.
SALIDA - Jarad Mora was the first of three Modesto Christian defenders to pile on top of East Union quarterback Aaron Ramos in the end zone as time expired in Friday's nonleague tilt at Roy Blakeley Field.
STOCKTON - Weston Ranch High coach Mike Hale wasn't leaving anything to chance Friday against Bear Creek.
For Ripon Christian it was a perfect bounce-back performance.
This Friday marks a special moment in Lathrop High history.
The Manteca High sophomore team put together an impressive showing, hanging tough with a talented Los Banos squad before pulling away with a 47-30 win Friday at Manteca High.
Lathrop held Sierra scoreless until the fourth quarter Friday in a 32-7 win over the Timberwolves in Valley Oak League sophomore action at Bennie Gatto Field.
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.