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Thunder lights up Manteca with passing game in NorCal Honor Bowl
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Manteca 0 7 0 7 —14

Rocklin 14 0 21 0 — 35


First quarter

R — Mavrik Collins 23 pass from Reeve Slone (Jacob Winter kick), 6:11.

R — Gavin Correia 11 pass from Slone (Winter kick), 3:01.


Second quarter

M — Kaden MacDannald 6 run (Cameron Navarette kick) 7:22.


Third quarter

R — Collins 64 pass from Slone (Winter kick), 4:59.

R — Nate Martin 46 pass from Slone (Winter kick), 2:11.

R —Collins interception return (Winter kick)


Fourth quarter

M — Jhadis Luckey 6 run (Navarette kick)

Manteca had no answer for sophomore quarterback Reeve Slone on Saturday, and the offense stalled for a second straight week as Rocklin rolled to a 35-14 win in the NorCal Honor Bowl hosted by Oak Ridge High in El Dorado Hills.

Slone connected on 14 of his 19 passes for 299 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Receiver/defensive back Mavrik Collins (three receptions, 98 yards) scored three touchdowns, one them an interception return that completed the unbeaten Thunder’s 21-point blitz in the third quarter that put the game out of reach at 35-7. Collins was named Rocklin’s MVP for the game.

It was a revenge game for Rocklin, which was ousted by the Buffaloes (2-2) in the semifinal round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs last year.

Playing without two-way standout Bryson Davis (elbow) for a third straight game, Manteca again did not have the firepower to keep up with one of the top teams in the SJS. Last week, the Buffaloes took a 44-7 pasting from St. Mary’s, the No. 2 ranked team in the Section, according to MaxPreps ratings. Rocklin came into the week ranked fourth.

Manteca MVP Kaden MacDannald rushed 13 times for 73 yards and a touchdown, but a big chunk of his production came off a 27-yard gain on a fake punt. Sophomore Jhadis Luckey added 96 yards and a late touchdown on 11 carries. His 54-yard sprint set up MacDannald’s 6-yard score with 7:22 left in the second quarter, giving the Buffaloes a needed spark as they closed in, 14-7.

The Buffaloes were fortunate to not go down by three scores early in the second quarter.

After stopping Manteca’s offense on fourth down, Rocklin went for the early kill shot as Slone delivered a perfect downfield strike to Brody Desario, who was unable to make the catch while striding free toward the end zone. Later in the same drive, a screen pass to Nate Martin went for 39 yards but was negated by penalty. The Thunder was forced to punt for the first time, and Manteca scored on the ensuing series.

It was the start of Manteca’s best stretch on defense, which continued with an interception at the end of the half as Rocklin drove deep into Buffalo territory. The Buffs held again to on the opening series of the second half, forcing a three-and-out. Then they forced their second turnover of the game, recovering a fumble as the Thunder came up empty-handed for a fourth consecutive drive.

Rocklin’s aerial assault would not stay grounded, however, striking twice on long TD passes on its next three plays from scrimmage. Collins took a short pass from Slone and burst past a defender for a 64-yard touchdown. Slone then spotted Martin wide open up the middle for a 46-yard touchdown on a one-play drive with 2:11 left in the third.

Moments later, Collins struck again, this time with his interception near midfield that was returned for another six points.

Junior Preston Smith took over for Garrison Reis (4 of 9, 22 yards, two interceptions) as Manteca’s quarterback and showed promise in making his first throws of the season. He completed four of six passes for 37 yards, hooking up with speedy receiver Julian Moncada (24 yards) on three of them.

The Buffaloes’ first drive with Smith under center resulted in Luckey’s 6-yard touchdown.

Manteca enters its bye week and will next face Lodi on the road Sept. 22 before opening Valley Oak League play Sept. 29 with visiting Kimball.