One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and four to go.
After Saturday’s three-way round-robin scrimmage between host Manteca, Ripon and Atwater at Guss Schmiedt Field, the Buffaloes and the Indians are well past three and closing in on four with games beginning in less than a week.
Manteca stumbled out of the gate a bit, dropping two passes and losing a fumble in its first five plays. But then the offense clicked and by the time the day was over the Buffaloes had three touchdowns, two more than either other squad.
“We didn’t catch the ball like we should have,” Manteca offensive coordinator Neil MacDannald said. “Good teams make those plays and we think we are a pretty good team so we have to get to the point where we make the routine plays. It wasn’t bad but it would have been nice to have made all the plays that were there.
“Up front I thought we played really well. Overall I would say it was pretty good, but obviously we are not there yet.”
Mikey Gonzales led the Buffaloes offense from his running back position.
“The team did good and we did everything we had to do,” Gonzales said. “All our hard work and effort is paying off.
“It felt good coming out here and laying hat, trying to set the tone for the season.”
The Manteca defense kept the Falcons out of the end zone all day and gave up a late score to Ripon.
“There were several guys I was really pleased with,” Buffaloes defensive coordinator Rick James said. “We have a couple of spots we still have competition at so we are trying to figure out who to start in those positions.
“We are fighting and I thought we did a good job running the ball and tackling. We were physical.”
The Indians got the lone touchdown against Manteca and both Ripon and the Buffaloes kept Division 1 Atwater out of the end zone.
“I think defensively we did pretty well,” Indians coach Chris Johnson said. “We had some guys who really stepped up because every year with a new team we look for who will fill in at what position.
“I think it was a good day for us. We came in against some very good competition and we competed hard and were able to get a good look so we could evaluate ourselves to see what we were doing well and what we have to work on.”
Michael Ysit saw duty all over the field for Ripon, playing wingback, outside linebacker and safety.
“Our first team did very well,” Ysit said. “On many plays we were just one block away. Defensively, we had good intensity. We are good to go.”
The Indians and Manteca will each have Week Zero games on Friday with Ripon hosting Bret Harte and the Buffaloes going on the road against Central Valley at Ceres High.