The Manteca and Sierra freshman football teams traded three-touchdown scoring runs, but it was the former that came out on top of a resounding 32-20 victory at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium last Thursday.
Running back Marcus Rivas spearheaded the visiting Buffaloes (3-0 Valley Oak League, 6-0 overall) with 44 rushes, 316 yards and four touchdowns.
Sierra (1-2, 4-2) took a 20-14 lead going into halftime after hitting paydirt three times in the second quarter. The Timberwolves’ last two scores came off returns on Manteca miscues, one on special teams and the other on offense.
Geo Juarez returned a punt 32 yards after the ball initially deflected off a Manteca player on the kick. Later, Brian Terrell ran back a pick-six 45 yards. Terrell got the Timberwolves rolling with a 2-yard TD run early in the second quarter.
“After giving up some stupid first-half touchdowns our players had a very sour taste in their mouths,” said Manteca coach Jon Shaefer. “So we made some offensive adjustments at halftime and committed to play Buffalo smash-mouth football.”
Manteca came roaring back behind its stout defense and offensive line. The Buffaloes set the tone with a 13-play, 7-minute drive that culminated into Marcus Rivas’ 2-yard touchdown. That tied it at 20-20 after the point-after try failed.
Early in the fourth quarter, Nate Krebs came through with his second interception of the game for the Buffs, who went ahead for good on Rivas’ 68-yard run. Rivas struck again with his fourth TD to put it out of reach, this one covering 50 yards. Darian Kitson recovered a fumble to seal it for Manteca.
Rivas punched in his first of four touchdown scampers from 39 yards out in the second quarter for an early 14-0 Buffalo lead. Dakari Charles accounted for their first points with a 50-yard jaunt on the team’s first possession. Diego Reyes converted his first two point-after kicks.
Manteca next hosts Sonora this Thursday, while Sierra takes on visiting Kimball.