STOCKTON — Momentum can be quite fickle.
Manteca High coach Mark Varnum is aware of that. Needless to say, he was pleased with his team's 73-6 Valley Oak League win at Weston Ranch.
"We're rolling," he said. "We want to keep (momentum) on our side."
The Buffaloes (3-1 VOL, 6-2 overall) have been riding high as of late, outscoring opponents 157-26 in the last two weeks.
Just like a week ago, Manteca surrendered the big play early on.
"We were not ready to play," said Varnum of the opening kick, referring to the Cougars' first play of the game.
Aaron Vickers took the opening kickoff, darting 99 yards to paydirt.
The 5-foot-5 junior scatback retrieved the kick from his own 1, darting towards the sideline before finding a little daylight on his put-back run.
"He's a highlight reel," said Weston Ranch coach Sal Reyes in praising Vickers.
The Cougars (0-4, 1-5) did not hold the momentum for long.
The Buffaloes struck back quickly as Leonardo Bonilla nearly returned the favor, taking the kickoff to the WR 22. Three plays later, Trabron Russell taking the ball in from the 1.
Manteca snapped the 6-6 tie with Dominic Rea returning an interception 24 yards for the score.
Weston Ranch put together a drive led by quarterback Atlantis Gholston scrambling for a pair of 17-yard runs helped out by a facemask penalty.
But then the Cougars coughed the ball up. Sunny Dozier recovered the ball for the Buffaloes.
After a couple of big runs by Jacob DeJesus, Manteca went to the air with quarterback Ryan Ward hitting Dy'lon Valentine, who was wide open on his 21-yard touchdown catch.
DeJesus gave his team a 20-6 advantage with his conversion run.
He was just warming up. DeJesus scored on runs of 15-, 6-, and 43- yards before the half. Dozier chipped in, catching a 25-yard touchdown pass from Ward, who completed 4 of his 5 passes for 81 yards and two scores without an interception.
DeJesus had 127 yards on eight carries.
"I like the way we responded (after the Weston Ranch kickoff return)," Varnum said.
He added: "We had fun — everyone got to play."
In the second half, Evan Nichols, Victor Martinez and Aaron Craig found their way into the end zone for the Buffaloes.
For the Cougars, they recognized their seniors, who were playing their final home game.
Reyes is hoping his team can put this game behind and focus on the final two of the season. Weston Ranch will travel to East Union next week.
Manteca 26 28 12 6 — 73
W. Ranch 6 0 0 0 — 6
W — Aaron Vickers 99 kickoff return (run failed), 11:20
M — Trabron Russell 1 run (kick failed), 10:02
M — Dominic Rea 30 interception return (kick failed), 8:20
M — Jacob DeJesus 15 run (run failed), 0:24.7
M — DeJesus 67 punt return (pass failed), 11:07
M — DeJesus 6 run (DeJesus run), 8:17
M — Sunny Dozier 25 pass from Ward (Alejandro Tornero kick), 4:00
M — DeJesus 43 run (Tornero kick), 0:52.6
M — Evan Nichols 6 run (kick failed), 9:47
M – Victor Martinez 21 run (kick failed), 1:21
M — Aaron Craig 40 run (John Badilla kick), 6:21