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Sierra secures spot in playoffs
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STOCKTON — Sierra High's only concern entering the Valley Oak League finale at the home of the Cougars was just to finish strong om Friday.
The result of the one-game-at-a-time focus was a 51-12 win at the expense of Weston Ranch High.
"We'll just leave it to whatever happens," said coach Chris Johnson, who wasn't thinking postseason afterwards. His Timberwolves (3-3 VOL, 5-5 overall) are most likely headed for the playoffs. They were ranked 10th in the Sac-Joaquin Section’s Division IV coming into the Week-10 contest, according to
Sierra was led by sophomore standout Kimoni Stanley, who finished with a game-high 180 yards on 11 carries while scoring three touchdowns and a pair of extra-point conversions.
Weston Ranch (0-6, 0-10) managed to keep the game close through most of the first half. Trailing 15-6 entering the second quarter, the Cougars were knocking at the door with the ball inside the Sierra 5.
"We had three shots and came up empty," said Weston Ranch coach Marcelo Zammaripa, who is looking forward to catching up on rest after serving double duties by coaching both the junior varsity and varsity squads since replacing the since departed Kevin Breaker.
“That goal-line stand was huge,” Johnson said. “It changed the momentum of the game.”
Prior to that, the Timberwolves overcame a bobbled opening snap by driving 62 yards on six plays. Stanley put together a pair of big runs, setting up Saul Contreras' 15-yard scoring jaunt.
The Cougars answered back almost immediately with Omar Hernandez breaking loose for 54 yards to the Sierra 12.
Quarterback Amier Bowen then found Julius Nelson teetering towards the back of the end zone for the touchdown strike.
Stanley, moments later, gave Sierra a big boost with his 48-yard sprint to pay dirt.
The Timberwolves defense stepped up with a goal-line stand and the offense followed that up by marching the length of the field.
Following his blockers, Stanley went 31 yards this time for the score.
Sierra got the ball back and once again capitalized. After Stanley's 27-yard gain, Contreras, who had 98 yards on seven carries, scored his second touchdown on a 57-yard run near the end of the half.
The Cougars, trailing 30-6, put together a drive to kick off the second half. Bowen connected with Fletcher Pitts for a 31-yard gain. Hernandez later punched the ball from a yard out.
Bowen completed 9 of his 19 passes for 130 yards, picking up another 33 yards on 11 carries. Hernandez had a team-high 80 yards on 14 pops.
The Timberwolves closed out the scoring with Stanley powering in one from a yard out and Chris Garcia coming through with a 51-yard run.

Sierra       15   15    14   7 — 51
W. Ranch  6    0   6   0 — 12

First Quarter
S—Saul Contreras 15 run (Kimoni Stanley run), 8:53.
W—Julius Nelson 12 pass from Amier Bowen (kick failed), 6:03.
S—K. Stanley 48 run (Jordan Shinn kick), 3:52.

Second Quarter
S—K. Stanley 31 run (Shinn kick), 6:06.
S—Contreras 57 run (K. Stanley run), 0:37.9.

Third Quarter
W—Omar Hernandez 1 run (pass failed), 7:44.
S—K. Stanley 1 run (Shinn kick), 6:41.
S—Contreras 9 run (Shinn kick), 2:06.

Fourth Quarter
S—Chris Garcia 51 run (Shinn kick), 10:12.