Kimball 8 22 16 12 — 58
Manteca 8 15 6 12 — 41
K — Willie Clifton 49 pass from Nicholas Coronado (Travis Marieiro pass from Coronado (10:43)
M — Alijah Cota 22 run (Blake Nichelson run), 6:30
K — Marieiro 12 pass from Coronado (pass fail), 9:06
M — Nichelson 80 run (Nichelson run), 8:43
K — Clifton 48 pass from Coronado (Eric Gordon Jr. pass from Coronado), 5:49
M — Nichelson 8 run (Eduardo Zambrano kick), 2:58
K — Marieiro fumble recovery in end zone (Coronado run). 0.0
K — Mason Rivera 12 pass from Coronado (Dylan Anderson pass from Coronado), 8:12
K — Coranado 5 run (Chinedu Nwankwo pass from Coronado), 5:39
M — Marcus Brennan 25 run (run fail), :30
M — Brennan 3 run (kick fail), 8:52
M — Cota 48 run (run fail), 5:24
K — Rivera 75 pass from Coronado (pass fail), 4:59
K — Clifton 23 pass from Coronado, 0:00
Football can be a game of inches and bounces. Manteca found that out the hard way Friday night.
Clinging to a one-point lead over visiting Kimball as lead as time expired in the first half, the Buffaloes appeared to stop the Jaguars inside the1-yard with no time left on the second-period clock.
However, the ball came loose into the end zone for Travis Marieiro to fall on for the first of three consecutive Kimball touchdowns on the way to a 58-41 Jaguars win in Valley Oak league action at Guss Schmiedt Field. It’s first Kimball’s first-ever victory over Manteca in 12 games.
“That touchdown at the end of the half was huge,” Jaguars coach LaTef Grim said. “That helped start us on some separation. We knew they were going to get their plays. But we pride ourselves on big plays real quick.”
Kimball quarterback Nicholas Coranado came into the contest as the top-ranked passer in the state and did not disappoint. The gun-slinging senior threw for six touchdowns, completing 23 of 38 passes for 460 yards.
“He is my guy,” Grim said of Coronado. “He reminds me of the guy I had when I coached at McNair so it was easy for me to come in and coach him. He has crazy leadership qualities and we are just trying to spread the ball around. After tonight, we should have two receivers at 1,000 yards and we are going to try and have three.”
Coronado has range with three of his touchdowns coming at more than 45 yards at 48, 49 and 75 yards.
“Coronado is one of the best quarterbacks we have seen since Gino (Campiotti),” Buffaloes coach Mark Varnum said. “Unfortunately, he is not wearing green and white with the rest of us. He is amazing and unbelievable, and they are going to roll D-IV in the playoffs.”
As if the three-touchdown barrage into the third quarter was not enough, the running game for Manteca (3-2 VOL, 7-2 overall) took a huge hit in the second half when standout running backs Lyon Colon and Blake Nichelson were knocked out of the game with injuries.
“With those guys out, we go to next man up,” Varnum said. “Marcus Brennan, Alijah Cota and Chris Ray all ran their butts off. They ran hard and we were still able to get some points on the board.”
In the first half, Nichelson tallied 114 yards on seven carries with touchdown runs of 8 and 80 yards, and Colon ground out 66 yards on 12 carries.
Brennan (six carries, 43 yards) scored on runs of 3 and 25 yards in the second half. Cota (14 carries, 144 yards) scored on a 48-yard run in the fourth quarter and a 22-yard run on his first carry in the first period. Both runs were quick openers up the middle. Ray added 25 yards on seven carries, all in the second half.
“With Blake (Nichelson) and Lyon (Colon) out, two of the top running backs in the VOL, I knew I had to step up,” Cota said. “The line blocked amazing and I was glad I was able to step up and do what I had to do.”