MODESTO — The Manteca Cowboys overcame mistakes and missed opportunities on offense by clamping down on the other side of scrimmage in their 14-6 varsity victory over the Central Valley Panthers Saturday at Prescott Elementary.
The game was the first of the National Youth Football League’s San-Stan Section season.
Manteca’s defense limited the Panthers to just 65 total yards of offense. Its only mistake was a pass interference on fourth-and-15, which led to Central Valley’s only score.
Rigo Jauregui and Gabe Munoz led the defensive unit with six tackles apiece. Kyle Morris and Munoz each deflected a pass, and Xavier Vargas forced a fumble.
The Cowboys had little trouble moving downfield but were unable to breakaway after dropping three passes in the end zone.
Munoz also sparked the offense, rushing for 70 yards while scoring two touchdowns — one off a reception from quarterback Chris Hocker (50 yards passing on seven attempts).
Mike Gonzalez contributed 55 yards to the ground attack.
The Cowboys will next host the Patterson Redskins at Manteca High next Saturday. The varsity game is scheduled to kick off at 4 p.m.
Nathaniel Arriola shined in every facet in Manteca’s season-opening victory, as he rushed for 188 yards and three touchdowns while collecting a team-high 10 tackles on defense.
The defense also contributed to the team’s point total, as Alberto Loaiza broke the scoreless tie in the first quarter with a safety.
Nicholas Lucchetti chipped in 74 yards on seven carries. Defensively, Jonathan Montoya had eight stops, and Dionicio Samoy had six to go with an interception.
Panthers 34, Cowboys 20
Seuseu Alofatuli spearheaded the Cowboys’ end of the shootout with 113 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He even led the team on defense with 11 tackles and a fumble recovery.
Darrin Young finished with 75 yards on just six carries and punched in Manteca’s other TD.
Jake Harries turned in nine tackles, and Christopher Mart recovered a fumble.