LATHROP — The Manteca High Buffaloes employed a stingy defense and a few big plays on offense to roll past Lathrop on Friday, 32-6.
“Our defense gave up just one positive play in that first half,” said Manteca coach Eric Reis.
All of his team’s scoring also occurred in those first two quarters of this Valley Oak League affair.
The Buffaloes (4-1 VOL, 7-2) opened the game with good field position after Kobe Shippley came up with Lathrop’s onside kick.
From midfield, Manteca took advantage on a pair of penalties on that drive, scoring on Devyn Gonzales’ 3-yard run.
The Spartans (1-4 VOL, 2-6) played strong interior defense led by Kamari St. Leon. Nevertheless, the Buffaloes — Garcia caught a 40 yard pass from quarterback Gino Campiotti — still managed a 28-yard field goal off the foot of Campiotti on their second possession.
Manteca then used a little razzle dazzle, with Campiotti tossing a lateral to Kyle Rachels, who is also a backup quarterback. Rachels found Kameron Beamon wide open for the 45 yard score.
That play came early in the second quarter, with Buffaloes, who led 18-0 (Ferrin Manuleleua ran in the two-point conversion), tacking on two more scores before the half.
Campiotti found tight end Cameron Reis on 41 yard gain, setting up a short TD run by Beamon.
Manuleleua had a fourth-down sack at midfield with 42 seconds left before the intermission. That was enough time for Campiotti to find Garcia on the 33-yard scoring toss.
Down 32-0, Lathrop had a few scoring chances in the second half but came up empty.
It wasn’t until late in the game that quarterback Keonnee Linnell was finally able to connect with tight end Idowu Olaleye on a 20-yard TD pass.
“I thought we did a good job matching Manteca’s intensity,” said Spartans coach Joe Pirillo. “The only difference was that we made silly mistakes.”
The Buffaloes were penalized nine times for 95 yards.
“Our bar is set high,” Reis said. “We’ll take this game and get ready for Oakdale.”