By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Manteca paired with Wilcox for NorCal Division II-A Bowl Game
Bulletin sports fall 2021
Manteca head coach Mark Varnum holds up the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship banner Friday while addressing his team following its 35-28 win over Oakdale at St. Mary’s. - photo by SEAN KAHLER


WHO: Manteca (10-3) vs. Wilcox (9-4)

WHAT: CIF Division II-A NorCal Regional Bowl Game

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 4, 6 p.m. kickoff

WHERE: Fitzpatrick Field, Wilcox HS, Santa Clara

ADMISSION: $12 adults, $8 high school students/seniors (65-over)/children (5-over). Tickets available online only at 

Manteca’s season is going to end on the road.  

The eight-time Sac-Joaquin Section champion is headed for Santa Clara next Saturday where Wilcox awaits for the California Interscholastic Federation Division II-A NorCal Regional Bowl Game. The winner travels to Saddleback College in Mission Viejo the following week to meet the SoCal titlist — Scripps Ranch (12-1) of San Diego goes to Valencia (8-4) in the other state semifinal. Kickoff for both games is 6 p.m.

Manteca (10-3) defeated Valley Oak League rival Oakdale 35-28 for the SJS Division III banner on Friday. The Buffaloes’ last home game of the season was in the SJS quarterfinal, a 54-15 shellacking of Sacramento on Nov. 12. They then ventured to Placer County for the semifinals and ousted second-seeded Lincoln, 28-3.

“They love it,” Manteca coach Mark Varnum said. “They love wearing the all-whites and being on the bus together. It’s who we are, we’re road warriors to the end. This is just another trip and hopefully we get the same result.”

Wilcox (9-4) waxed Menlo School 54-20 for the Central Coast Section Division II title on Saturday behind Luther K. Glenn’s 228 rushing yards and five touchdowns. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound senior has rushed for more than 2,000 yards while totaling 31 touchdowns for the season.

It’s the first CCS title for the Chargers since 1997. They were oh-fer in their next five final-round appearances until busting out of that skid on Saturday. Wilcox lost in the CCS Open Division I final in 2018 but went on to capture the Division III-A state crown, finishing 14-1.

Head coach Paul Rosa is 56-22 in his seventh year at Wilcox. He took over for Dan Brown, who faced Manteca — then led by Eric Reis — in each of his final two seasons. The Chargers won a 28-27 thriller at Guss Schmiedt Field on 2013, and the Buffs got even the following year at Wilcox’s Fitzpatrick Field, 20-14.

“We have some history, and they’re a great program,” Varnum said. “They have a stud running back and a lot of athletes. It’s a Bay Area school, so there is no shortage of good football players. We’ll do as much homework as possible and be ready to go for Saturday.”

Spectrum Sports Network will televise the Open, Division I-AA, Division I-A, Division II-AA and Division-A state bowl games at Saddleback College. State finals for Divisions III-AA down to Division VII-A will be hosted by the NorCal champions.

Other NorCal pairings of note:

·        Serra (11-1) of San Mateo was chosen to represent the North for the Open Division Bowl Game against Santa Ana powerhouse Mater Dei (11-0), which tops the the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national rankings. Serra, ranked 100th in the country, avenged its lone loss of the season stunning previously-undefeated Saint Francis of Mountain View, 16-12. The Open championship is set for Saturday, Dec. 11 at 8 p.m.

·        Escalon (12-1) held off Trans-Valley League foe Hilmar 20-13 on Saturday for the SJS Division V title and hits the road for the CIF Division IV-AA NorCal Bowl. The Cougars tangle with Marin Catholic (12-1) at San Rafael High on Friday. Ripon, which was eliminated by Escalon in the SJS semifinals, is the reigning state champ in Division IV-AA. Escalon looks to repeat after claiming the Division IV-A title in 2019.

·        VOL champion Central Catholic (12-1) is placed a rung above Manteca in Division II-AA and welcomes Bullard (9-4) of Fresno on Friday. The Raiders from Modesto raced away from Monterey Trail 43-22 in the SJS Division II final on Saturday.