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Manteca High running back A.J. Martinez (28) breaks through the Oakdale defense in the first half of sophomore play. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

Three second-quarter touchdowns – two in the same minute – sealed the deal for Lathrop on Friday as the Spartans came from behind to defeat visiting Sierra 19-8 in sophomore Valley Oak League action at Bennie Gatto Field. 

With 2:39 remaining in the first half, Sebastian Iniguez (22 carries, 82 yards) scored on a 15-yard run to put Lathrop ahead 12-8. Justin Manuel recovered the ensuing onside kick, allowing Keeanu Linnell (7 of 12 passing, 145 yards; 13 carries, 84 yards) to spot Sebastian Ellis with a 14-yard scoring pass for the 19-8 lead that would hold for the rest of the game. 

Saul Contreras got the Timberwolves on the board when he hauled in a 65-yard scoring pass from James Taylor (10 of 20 passing, 113 yards) late in the first quarter for an 8-0 lead. Linnell and Ellis hooked up early in the second quarter, this time for a 40-yard touchdown pass to draw the Spartans within 8-6.

Frankie Vela had an interception for Sierra and teammate Hunter Halleck was all over the field on the defensive line making plays, leading a goal-line stand late in the first period. Ellis had an interception for Lathrop.


Manteca 28, Oakdale 14

Kyle Lynch helped give the host Buffaloes momentum going into the second half when he returned an interception 70 yards for a touchdown and a 22-7 Manteca lead late in the second period. 

Jorge Cedano scored from 2 and 3 yards out for the Buffaloes and finished with 78 rushing yards. The Manteca line dominated and wore out the Mustangs on both sides of the ball. Angel Garay scored the last touchdown for the Buffaloes on a 3-yard run.

Lynch finished with two interceptions. Garay, Tyler Brintley, Jose Ceja and Jerryn Grundy anchored the Manteca defense. 


Trans-Valley League

Ripon 7, Hughson 0

No offensive points were scored Friday at Stouffer Field. 

The only touchdown in the game was scored by linebacker Gregory Clark.