Sierra dropped another tough one at home Friday but proved again that its resurgence is for real.
The Timberwolves came up short against traditional power Oakdale 42-35 in the first week of Valley Oak league play.
An interception from Rafi Rios-Avila early in the fourth quarter helped turn the tide for the visiting Mustangs (5-1), and Wes Burford later scored his fourth touchdown of the night to give them a two-score lead with 5:54 remaining.
“Proud of our team’s effort tonight,” Sierra coach Jeff Abrew said. “Our kids were resilient and kept competing.”
Sierra dropped to 3-3, and its other two defeats were competitive games against 4-2 Golden Valley and 5-1 Armijo.
Quarterback Zak Willson led the Timberwolves against Oakdale with 259 yards and three touchdowns on 15-of-24 passing. He also had an 11-yard touchdown run late in the first half, and the score was knotted at 21-21 by halftime.
Anthony Grady (10 rushes, 99 yards) gave Sierra its first and only lead on a third-down play, rambling 63 yards to make it 28-21 with 10:35 left in the third quarter.
Two of Willson’s TD tosses went to Taylor Rowe (six receptions, 80 yards), and the other to Josh Seals (three receptions, 90 yards). Jessie Flores led the defense with two sacks.
Burford was the workhorse for Oakdale, finishing with 279 yards on 41 rushes.
Ripon 47, Modesto Christian 16
The Indians (3-3) kicked off Trans-Valley League play with a lopsided road win.
Xzavier Clark broke through for 200 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 17 attempts. Anden Ries plowed his way to 35 yards and three scores. Xaiden Reyes added 37 yards and one score.
Modesto Christian (2-4) tried to keep pace early on, as Ross Widemon hit Cal Poly commit Jeremiah Bernard for a 21-yard touchdown late in the first quarter. The same combo struck again on the 2-point conversion, closing the Crusaders in, 13-8.
Ripon raced away with a 21 unanswered points.
Ripon Christian 54, Waterford 0
Freshman quarterback Bryan Martinez and the visiting Wildcats (1-2, 2-4 overall) were no match for Southern Athletic League-leading Ripon Christian (3-0, 5-1).
The Knights defense forced six turnovers, while the offense outgained Waterford 314-132 in yardage. The shutout is RC’s fourth in five games.
Sophomore safety Amos Cady returned two interceptions for touchdowns, and 6-foot-8 defensive end Jace Beidleman ran a pick back 98 yards late in the first quarter when Waterford had its best shot at scoring. Linebacker Trevor Van Elderen also came up with two interceptions, and Preston Zuidervaart recovered a fumble forced by Cady.
Lineman Logan De Jong was the Knights’ leading tackler with six.
Quarterback Mason Tameling competed a pair of touchdown passes, one to Ethan Schenk covering 30 yards, and the other a 21-yarder to Brady Grondz. Grondz also had a rushing TD.
Josh Miller contributed a 19-yard touchdown scamper, and Kayden Anderson scored from 4 yards out. The Knights did all of their scoring in the first half.
Lathrop 24, Beyer 7
In Modesto, the Spartans (4-2) claimed their fourth straight victory and is one of three 3-0 teams (Johansen, Los Banos) in the Western Athletic Conference.
The ground attack once again did the heavy lifting for Lathrop, piling up 301 yards while dominating time of possession. Winless Beyer did not score until there was 4:09 left in the game.
Julio Garcia led the way with 18 rushes, 110 yards and three touchdowns. Jimari Dove chipped in with 77 yards and a TD on 10 carries. Dove also had a sack on defense, as did lineman Sean Teu.