Sometimes you have to take a chance – and sometimes the chance pays off. Such was the case for the East Union freshman football team on Thursday.
After giving up a score to visiting Manteca late in the second quarter and unable to generate any offense in the first half, the Lancers teed up the second half kickoff with some trickery in mind. Jose Giron got off a picture-perfect onside kick for teammate Daniel Reed to recover. The momentum carried East Union down the field on a scoring drive to tie the game. A late fourth-quarter score gave the Lancers bragging rights in a thrilling 14-8 Valley Oak League victory in the season finale for both teams at Dino Cunial Field.
With 3:36 left in the game and the score tied at 8, Patrick Shouland (16 carries, 76 yards) scored from 6 yards to put East Union ahead 14-8. The Buffaloes had one more chance to strike, but three incomplete passes followed by a Fernando Rodriguez sack on fourth down ended the final Manteca threat.
With 13.3 seconds left on the first-half clock, Gerson Gomez got into the end zone for the Buffaloes from 7 yards out. James Thomas powered in the conversion run for an 8-0 lead.
Deon Mackson (nine carries, 42 yards) capped the drive made possible by Giron and Reed with a nine-yard touchdown run. Shouland tied the game with a two-point conversion run with 6:27 left in the third period. Mackson made the only Lancers reception on a 30-yard toss from Angel Sena that kept the go-ahead scoring drive alive.
Joseph Reynaga made six tackles for East Union. Isaiah Estrada added five and Shouland (sack), Jose Vargas and Fernando Rodriguez four each.
Devin Gonzales had 49 yards on 11 carries for Manteca and Thomas had 31 yards on six carries. Teammate Kameron Beamon had a fumble recovery.
Sierra 32, Enochs 13
The Sierra freshmen wrapped up their Valley Oak League championship season with a non-league road win on Thursday.
Marcos Castillo racked up 121 yards on just four carries for the Timberwolves (9-1), scoring on a runs of 44 and 47 yards. Seuseu Alofaituli (eight carries, 55 yards) scored on a 1-yard run and on a 28-yard pass from Brandon Arreola (3 of 4 passing, 59 yards; seven carries, 48 yards)
Alofaituli and Tyler Fitch each had a fumble recovery for Sierra