The Manteca Junior Buffaloes varsity squad opened its 2011 season with a 14-6 victory over the Denair Lions Saturday in the Trans Valley Youth Football League.
Jonathan Loon scored the season’s first touchdown when he pushed it across from 4 yards out. The Buffaloes gave up a first quarter score to the Lions, but did not allow Denair back in the end zone for the duration. Loon put together an impressive season-opener, grounding out 70 yards and a score on offense, and collecting six tackles and a sack on defense.
“We came out flat on defense in the first quarter,” coach Josh Harris said. “But once the boys settled in they played to their potential.
“Offense did a great job of only turning the ball over once and controlling the clock.”
The Junior Varsity club was able to hold off Denair with a 7-6 victory. The Buffaloes pushed their score across in the waning moments of the first half, when quarterback Kyle Rachels tossed a touchdown with two seconds remaining in the second.
The Buffaloes sealed their victory with a defensive interception late in the fourth quarter.
The Junior Buffaloes had a clean sweep over Denair in the season opener and the novice squad got things in motion. The Buffaloes had struggles early offensively, but were able to get things on track behind a strong second half effort.
Defensively, Eric Nascimento, Dayvion Mayes and Gino Allen led a defensive charge that held to Denair to a less-than-comfortable 6-0 halftime lead. Allen also played an integral part on offense, scoring Manteca’s first touchdown to tie it up. Ryan Zimmerman followed suite with a huge run, setting up a touchdown run for Tyler Garlets, putting the Junior Buffaloes up for good.