Lyon Colon set the stage for Manteca when he returned a punt 70 yards early in the first quarter Thursday as part of a 26-0 blitz to start the Valley Oak League contest on the way to a 50-21 win over visiting Sierra at Guss Schmiedt Field.
Colon (seven carries, 82 yards, two touchdowns) added a 44-yard gallop for a score on the first play of the second quarter.
“On that punt return I was seeing the ball in the sky,” Colon said. “I was trying to decide if I was going to catch it or not.
“I caught it, I took off and I was gone.”
Krys Charles (nine carries, 109 yards, two touchdowns) directed the Manteca offense and scored on two plays that could not have been more different — a 70-yard quarterback counter right up the middle and a busted-play plunge through a scrum from 8 yards out.
“On that busted play I just ran it up,” Charles said. “And I haven’t had a long run like that touchdown run in a long time. It’s been a minute.
“It felt good to beat on them. It was a fun game.”
Khalid Robinson added a 13-yard scoring run for the Buffaloes (3-0 VOL) with two more coming from long distance — Trey Moreland on a 96-yard kickoff return and Blake Nichelson on a 35-yard run.
Manteca coach Mark Varnum gave the credit for his multi-faceted attack to his linemen.
“The guys up front are the engine that runs us,” Varnum said. “Next week with Oakdale coming up we have to win the battle up front like we did tonight. We have so many weapons and when the big boys do their job up front we are a tough team to stop.
“Any time you can put a running clock on a section champion, that puts a smile on my face. That’s what the kids wanted to do. There might be two champs in town but it still says Manteca on the water tower.”
The Buffaloes defense kept Kimoni Stanley (17 carries, 104 yards, touchdown) in check, limiting the Timberwolves workhorse to a 2-yard touchdown run. Ryan Borgeson (8 of 14 passing, 127 yards, two touchdowns) and Christian Threadgill (two receptions, 48 yards, two touchdowns) combined for the other two touchdowns for Sierra (1-2 VOL) on pass plays of 8 and 40 yards.
Timberwolves coach Chris Johnson looks to learn from Friday night.
“We couldn’t get started tonight,” Johnson said. “We have a lot of kids that haven’t played football before, and in a game like this it takes a minute to shake off the butterflies. You can’t spot a team 26 points and you can’t give up special-teams touchdowns.
“We knew we would have to grind, grind, grind and when you have to do that you can’t fumble the ball. We have a lot of sophomores out there and they have to play in games like this to get better. We will look at films and see if we became a better football team tonight. Sometimes you have to get punched in the mouth.”
Joshua Saylor and Jose Rios each recovered a Sierra fumble for Manteca and Jerry Walser kept a Buffaloes drive alive when he wrestled a Manteca fumble away from a pair of Sierra defenders.
This was the eighth straight win for the Buffaloes over the Timberwolves with Manteca leading the series 20-6.
Sierra 0 14 0 7 — 21
Manteca 14 20 8 8 — 50
M — Lyon Colon 70 punt return (Khalid Robinson run), 7:55
M — Blake Nichelson 35 run (run fail), 1:22
M — Colon 44 run (run fail), 11:49
M — Krys Charles 70 run (kick fail), 4:53
S — Kimoni Stanley 2 run (Jordan Shinn kick), 2:58
M — Trey Moreland 96 kickoff return (Nichelson run), 2:42
S — Christian Threadgill 40 pass from Ryan Borgeson (Shinn kick), :48
M — Robinson 13 run (Nichelson pass from Charles), 3:37
M — Charles 8 run (Robinson run) 10:19
S — Threadgill 8 pass from Borgeson (Shinn kick) 3:04