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Manteca frosh tie for VOL championship
Victor Lopez of East Union grabs Alex Garlets as Jordon Perry (42) comes in to assist. - photo by Dave Campbell
MANTECA – Although Manteca freshman football coach Jon Shaefer was concentrating on his team’s 40-8 win over visiting East Union on Thursday in the Valley Oak League finale, he couldn’t help but look over the Lancers’ bleachers to the east at Guss Schmiedt Field and wonder what was happening up the hill at Dunlavy Field where Oakdale was visiting Sonora.

 As a result of the Buffaloes’ heartbreaking one-point loss to the Mustangs in Manteca’s previous outing, the Buffaloes needed an intercession by the football gods in the form of a Wildcats victory which would force a tie for the league championship between Manteca and Oakdale. Those gods showed up and the Mustangs limped out of Dunlavy Field with a 13-12 loss, electing to go for the win on a late two-point conversion attempt rather than a tie via their kicker. The tie would have meant a second-place finish for the Buffaloes.

 “As I told our guys going into this game, we would have to do our part and see what happens,” Shaefer said. “We were going to have to let the chips fall where they may.”

Manteca was in control from the beginning Thursday, putting up a 22-0 halftime lead on just 12 offensive plays. Michael Gonzalez (six carries, 56 yards) tallied three touchdowns for the Buffaloes, scoring on runs of 2 and 8 yards and falling on the ball in the end zone off of a punt broken up by teammate Billy Sharmoug. Matt Wilkerson (nine carries, 95 yards) added touchdown runs of 4 and 10 yards and Donovan Lucas rounded out the night’s scoring with a 16-yard scamper up the right sideline, spinning into the end zone with 1:33 left in the contest.

 Clay Cuneo pulled in a 32-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Danhoff to get East Union on the board with 7:14 remaining in the fourth quarter. Josh Wood recovered a fumble and made an interception for the Lancers.

 Jacob Webb recovered a fumble for Manteca.
Sierra 69, Weston Ranch 0
Jake Pruitt threw five touchdowns for the Timberwolves on Thursday and the Sierra defense scored the game’s last three touchdowns.

 Pruitt (7 of 9 passing, 104 yards) hit Dakota Conners with touchdown throws of 3, 17, 14 and 44 yards and found Lucas Widmer with a 9-yard touchdown pass. Keano Calderon scored on a 20-yard run and Garrett DeVillianueva from 12 yards out.

 Conners added a touchdown on an 18-yard fumble return, Brandon Geaney scored on a 16-yard interception return and Mykhal Redman picked up a fumble and returned it 30 yards for the final touchdown of the game.

 “We would like to recognize the Ranch with the kids never giving up,” Timberwolves coach Walt Brookshire said. “Chris Cliatt kept running the ball on us and doing a great job from both the running back and quarterback positions.

 “Once again, we had a full team effort. It is great to see kids come off the bench and keep the pace going.”

Luis Alvarado had five carries for 42 yards for the Cougars and Maika Toloai made 12 tackles.
Lathrop 33, Kimball 0
 The Spartans scored all of their points in the first half.

 Kevin Rainey (13 carries, 142 yards) scored on runs of 25 and 60 yards for Lathrop. Aaron Worthens (nine carries, 58 yards) and Joe Lopez each scored on a 1-yard run and Carlos Estrada returned an interception 45 yards for a Spartans touchdown.

 “It was a nice way to finish our first season,” first-year coach Dwayne Davis said. “We had 300 yards rushing and played a strong defensive game.

 “We had a lot of positive things to build on as a program looking towards our future. The discipline and mental toughness displayed by the kids that made it thru the season will be a building block for their step up to the next level.”

Estrada, Victor Villalobos (four tackles), Nilo Youson (interception), and Gabriel Williams led the defensive charge for Lathrop.