It is an option thing.
Sierra scored three times Friday night and the Timberwolves did it with a new look, the triple option, handing Central Valley of Ceres a 22-10 non-league loss at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
“We have to build our own identity,” Sierra coach Chris Johnson said. “Sierra has been a spread school for a long time and we felt like we have to mold our system with the kids we have now. We are not really big up front but we have some dynamic backs, and our kids play hard and get after it. They are physical and give themselves a chance to win.”
“The triple option requires teams to do their homework. It does put a lot of stress on people.”
With Kimoni Stanley pounding the middle and drawing the Hawks defense in, older brother Nick Stanley (five carries, 122 yards, two touchdowns) took a pitch and busted loose on a 67-yard run with 4:17 left in the first half to put the Timberwolves (1-1) ahead, 7-3. Late in the third quarter with all eyes again on Kimoni Stanley, Nick Stanley scampered 34 yards to put Sierra ahead for good at 14-10.
“After our last game (a 21-3 road loss to Modesto Christian), it was like my brother said,” Nick Stanley said. “The scoreboard doesn’t define us, we define us, so we came out here and played.”
On the first play of the fourth quarter Matt Dunham (eight carries, 49 yards, touchdown) capped the scoring with a 13-yard run on yet another option.
Quarterback Shane Johnson did a fine job of selling the fakes on the option, finishing with six carries for 74 yards. Kimoni Stanley totaled 21 carries for 68 yards and would have tallied more had he not been charged with a big loss on an errant pitch.
“I feel great,” Kimoni Stanley said. “Like I told them last game, the scoreboard doesn’t define us, we do.
“We played well, and that’s how we define ourselves. I am proud of our team.”
Among others, Romeo Sesma and Holden Fishburn had big sacks for Sierra, but none was bigger than Elijah White’s with 9:14 left in the first half. With Central Valley (1-1) facing fourth down from the Timberwolves 5-yard line, White broke into the Hawks backfield and pocketed a drive-killing sack, ripping the shoe off of Central Valley quarterback Andrew Hernandez in the process.
“Tonight was an amazing night,” White said. “It was a great improvement and a step up from last week. Overall, it was great bonding.
“The defensive line was blowing them out tonight. They stepped their game up.”
Dunham had a fumble recovery with Nick Stanley and Nyco Mendoza each snagging an interception. Stanley’s grab came one play after Sierra turned the ball over late in the first half when a bad snap forced the punter to reach for the ball low and when doing so his knee hit the ground, downing the ball at the Timberwolves 21.
“You can’t say enough about our defense,” coach Johnson said. “They kept us in the game.
“We have a lot of kids that play really hard and they are really physical and they are 90 percent juniors.”
Hernandez was 8 of 10 passing in the first half for 128 yards with Erick Martinez-Stucchi grabbing four catches for 82 yards. Central Valley managed just 15 yards passing in the second half on three receptions.
“They made some changes defensively,” Hawks coach Scott Edwards said. “We had horrible execution and they had good play up front. They had pressure on the edge and with their linebackers blitzing.”
C. Valley 0 10 0 0 — 10
Sierra 0 7 7 8 — 22
C — Christian Palomares 47 FG, 4:39.
S — Nick Stanley 67 run (Jordan Shinn kick), 4:17.
C— Isaiah Hidalgo 2 run (Palomares kick), 2:38.
S — Stanley 34 run (Shinn kick), 2:18.
S — Matt Dunham 13 run (Dunham run), 11:52.