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Late push by frosh Buffs seals victory
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MANTECA – Matt Wilkerson and Michael Gonzales combined to rack up over 300 rushing yards Thursday to score the three Manteca touchdowns in a 22-12 come-from-behind win for the Buffaloes over Sierra in Valley Oak League freshman football action at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.

The Timberwolves did not have an answer for Wilkerson who pounded out 167 yards on 33 carries with touchdown runs of 1 yard and 3 yards. Gonzalez (15 carries for 146 yards )  added a 4-yard touchdown run late in the game to ice the contest.

Manteca coach Jon Shaefer credited much of his team’s success to the offensive line of Billy Sharmoug, Isaac McClain, Valenti Saavadra, Gus LaDue, Gio Galletta and Stephen Ruble.

“When you have a very large, athletic, and smart line like we do, it definitely makes running the football much easier,” Shaefer said. “(In the second half) we had two long sustained drives – 65 yards and 85 yards – where we controlled the line of scrimmage and the clock.”

Sierra scored first on a 26-yard pass from Jake Pruitt (13 of 21 passing, 135 yards) to Dakota Conners (six receptions, 93 yards) late in the first quarter to take a 6-0 lead. Following Wilkerson’s first score, Robert Cedas forced a fumble for Conners to recover and ramble 45 yards to take a 12-8 lead at halftime. That would be the end of the scoring for the Timberwolves.

“Their line controlled both sides of the ball on us,” Sierra coach Walt Brookshire said. “They have a good running back but we made him look like an all leaguer all night long.”  

East Union 20, Weston Ranch 12  
Joe Menzel threw for a pair of touchdowns for the Lancers in a balanced attack that saw 15 East Union players touch the ball.

Menzel (7 for 16 passing)  hit Jake Danhoff with a 20-yard scoring toss and hit Tyler Silva with a touchdown pass from 6 yards out. Josh Friedman returned the second-half kickoff 80 yards for a score and Andrew Ortiz led the Lancers ground attack with 52 yards.

“This was a great game to win to propel us into next week’s game at home against Oakdale,” East Union coach Ron Clayton said.
Jesus Diaz pulled in a 24-yard touchdown pass from Khalil Browderover (9 for 17 passing, 186 yards) for the Cougars and Giovanni Nunez scored the other Weston Ranch touchdown on an 8-yard run. Maika Toloai led the Cougars defense with 13 tackles.

Oakdale 26, Lathrop 6
The Mustangs scored 16 points in the first quarter and never looked back.

“We started the season out playing mistake-free football,” Spartans coach Dwayne Davis said. “In this one we held them on defense, forced them to punt and then we fumbled the punt and gave them the ball back inside our 20-yard line.

“Oakdale made us pay for all our early mistakes but once again the kids battled through and played a tough second half.”