Weston Ranch slipped to a 42-0 first half deficit amidst heavy rains at The Corral at Oakdale High on Friday. When the downpour subsided, the Cougars regained their footing with a pair of exciting touchdowns before falling in a 42-14 defeat.
As a guy who feels it's more important to finish a season with a 3.0 GPA than it is to finish a season 13-0, it's hard to imagine a high school football game being a must-win contest, but that is exactly what the Sierra Timberwolves have waiting on them Friday night when Sonora High comes to town.
The Weston Ranch football program was the toast of the Valley Oak League just five years ago, and now the program is trying to reestablish its identity and the sophomore program is continuing to do its part with a 26-6 win over Lathrop High Friday.
LATHROP – It took just one play for Lathrop to get on the board Thursday and the Spartans never trailed in a 21-6 Valley Oak League freshman win over visiting Weston Ranch.
The Valley Oak League season is no longer in its beginning stages and the Manteca Buffaloes took a step towards distancing themselves from the rest of the league, pouncing on the host Sonora Wildcats 42-13 Friday for a VOL statement.
WESTON RANCH – It was a contest both programs had circled on their calendars, but Weston Ranch was the program with something to celebrate after its 15-3 Valley Oak League win over the Lathrop Spartans Friday during the Cougars' homecoming week.
East Union High football coach, Mike James, didn't need to comb The Corral with a metal detector and headphones to find the reason for his teams' 63-21 defeat at the hands of the reigning co-Valley Oak League champions.
Anthony Cota got the Sierra offense clicking in the first quarter and the Timberwolves never slowed down, blasting the Kimball Jaguars 58-20 in Valley Oak League action Friday in Tracy.
RIPON – The Indians made changes Friday out of necessity. Jake McCreath stepped in for injured Alex Gustin at quarterback against Hughson. The result was a much-needed 35-7 Trans Valley League win at Stouffer Field. "Jake did a nice job," said Ripon High coach Chris Johnson. "It was tough on him last week when he got thrown into the fire. "It was great to see him bounce back after a good week of practice." McCreath ...
DELHI – Ripon Christian registered its first victory of the season on Friday. More importantly, it was a Southern League win. The Knights needed a second-half surge to roll past Turlock Christian at Delhi High, 39-13. "We finally got the monkey off our backs," RC coach John Vander Schaaf said. The Knights trailed at half-time, but received a boost on Zach Davis' 20-yard field goal that kept things close. Behind 13-10, Ripon Christian (1-4, 1-7) ...
Don't expect much traffic within city limits Friday night. All three of the high school football teams will be out of town. Sierra High (1-2, 2-4 overall) has it the easiest with a short jaunt to Tracy for a Valley Oak League contest with winless and first-year varsity Kimball. East Union (2-1, 5-1) and Manteca (3-0, 6-0), on the other hand, face their toughest tests of the season so far. Manteca High's Buffaloes will log ...
The season didn't open as smoothly as the Sierra Timberwolves sophomore football team would have liked, but the squad surely is getting hot at the right time, blowing out the Manteca Buffaloes 34-6 Friday at Manteca High.
MANTECA – Matt Wilkerson and Michael Gonzales combined to rack up over 300 rushing yards Thursday to score the three Manteca touchdowns in a 22-12 come-from-behind win for the Buffaloes over Sierra in Valley Oak League freshman football action at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
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.
HILMAR – Nick Price shouted until his voice went hoarse, imploring his defense to come up with one last stop.
OAKDALE - Trent Merzon saw something that wasn't quite right.
Manteca High coach Eric Reis warned his team about a possible letdown Friday against Kimball.
LATHROP – Kenny Garrett not only led Lathrop High to its first victory of the season, but he also helped the Spartans record their first-ever win over a Manteca Unified rival, snapping an 18-game intra-district losing streak.
DELHI – Due to a fire alongside Highway 99 that slowed traffic to a crawl, it took Ripon Christian High's football team and its large contingent of fans an unusually long time to make the trek to Delhi High School Friday night.
Early turnovers and Sonora's physical triple-option offense were too much for Weston Ranch to overcome in a 55-16 loss Friday.
To narrow a team's game plan down to a single player would be unfair.
Chris Johnson and Frank Marques' relationship extends beyond the painted sidelines and stands of the football field.
Lathrop has certainly earned the respect of its opponents this year, but that hasn't translated into any wins so far.
The epic Week-1 clash between inter-section opponents Manteca and Wilcox of Santa Clara could be revisited in December, though much would have to happen between now and then for them to meet in a CIF NorCal Regional Bowl Game.
The success of Hilmar High's spread offense has been tied to two of the Valley's top quarterbacks.
Manteca gets a bump up to No. 8 in the Cal-Hi Sports Division II NorCal Bowl rankings after beating previous No. 7 Oakdale, 35-20. Ripon remains at No. 6 in Division III, while Ripon Christian moves up a spot to No. 9 in Division IV/Small Schools. See Thursday's edition of the Bulletin for additional information.
Manteca put up 13 second-half points to offset two first-quarter scores for host Oakdale on the way to a 20-12 come-from-behind Valley Oak League sophomore football win at The Corral.
Sierra needed just 22 offensive plays Thursday to defeat host Lathrop 58-0 in Valley Oak League freshman action at Bennie Gatto Field.
OAKDALE – Eric Reis closed his postgame speech on Friday evening with three very apt words for his program: