Some of the area’s top prep football talents of years past will be on display at Modesto Junior College this Saturday when the Pirates host rival Delta.
Second-year quarterback Teejay Gordon leads MJC (2-2 Valley Conference, 4-5 overall) into the regular-season finale. It was just two weeks ago that the East Union product spearheaded a 43-42 win over American River College, then the state’s No. 3-ranked team.
One of California’s best dual-threat signal callers at the JUCO level, Gordon has completed 66.6 percent of his passes for 2,227 yards, 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also rushed for 459 yards and a team-high 11 touchdowns. Gordon was named to the All-Valley Conference and All-Community Conference Region I first teams as a freshman.
Among Gordon’s favorite targets is 6-foot-4, 250-pound Jake McCreath, a 2012 Ripon High grad. He is MJC’s third-leading receiver with 27 catches, 447 yards and three scores.
True freshman Anthony Cota, Sierra High’s record-breaking rusher and 2012 Manteca Bulletin All-Area MVP, is the Pirates’ featured back in the spread offense with 693 yards (5.3 per carry) and six touchdowns. Fellow Sierra alum Stephen Thayer is MJC’s top tackler with 66.
The Manteca area is well represented on the MJC roster, which includes WR T.J. Williams (East Union), DB Roger Rhodes (Manteca), DB Eddie Smith (Manteca), LB Candelario Elizondo (Weston Ranch), RB Josh Reed (Sierra), DB Marcus Vega-Tatum (Weston Ranch), DL Dominic Barba (East Union), DL Adam Bennett (Sierra) and DL Nick Burrows (Manteca).
East Union alumnus T.J. Brown is the top-producing wide out for Delta (1-3, 2-7) with 23 receptions, 371 yards and four touchdowns.
Lathrop resident Jamie Christopherson, who prepped at Stockton’s St. Mary’s, ranks fifth among the state’s leading tacklers with 97. Delta’s standout linebacker also has three sacks, two fumble recoveries and 9.5 tackles for losses. Defensive lineman Sean Castro of Manteca also played at St. Mary’s. Linebacker Tyler Swortfiguer (Ripon) is also listed on the Mustangs’ roster.
Pacific Azusa to win
Grant Widmer, a 2011 graduate of Sierra, was part of Pacific Azusa University history last Saturday in Glendora. He was the team’s leading receiver with five catches and 39 yards in the Cougars’ 23-20 victory over Dixie State that secured their first Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship.
The 6-foot-3, 207-pound sophomore plays H-back and special teams for PAU (8-1 GNAC, 8-2 overall). He has seven catches and 44 yards for the season. The Cougars will next play Greenville College (9-1) in the National Christian College Athletic Association’s Victory Bowl on Nov. 23 at Historic Barron Stadium in Rome, Ga.