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WEEK 6 PREVIEW: Manteca set for 100th meeting with Oakdale
Bulletin football 2019
Oakdale tight end Peyton Bradford catches a pass against Cameron Torres (24) and East Union in a Week 4 win. - photo by Photo by SEAN KAHLER

Coming out of its bye week, Manteca kicks off the second half of the schedule at a venue where it has had little success over the years.
This Friday, Oakdale (2-0, 4-2 overall) awaits the Buffaloes (0-1, 3-2) at The Corral for a Valley Oak League clash with title implications. It is also the 100th meeting between these longtime rivals. Oakdale leads the all-time series, which began in 1923, 52-43-4.
Manteca has just one win at Oakdale in the last 15 years — a 35-20 final that also marked the 100th career victory for then-head coach Eric Reis. Recent history sides with the Buffaloes, however, as they’ve won three of the last four showdowns against the Mustangs. Included is the 34-17 win in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III final in 2017.
In their last outing, the Buffaloes missed a great opportunity against then-winless and wounded Central Catholic, which came back to win 27-26 with a last-minute touchdown. The defeat came three weeks after a 54-48 overtime loss at Downey.
Oakdale has also had to work past some tough defeats, falling to reigning state Division I-A champion Liberty 19-14 and Salinas-based parochial power Palma, 28-14.
“Our goal is to win a section championship and to win a state title, that’s always been our goal,” Manteca coach Mark Varnum said following the Central Catholic loss. “You have to play in these kinds of games sometimes and unfortunately we’ve had two heartbreakers.
“I’ll tell you one thing, the coaches and players here don’t want a third and they’re going to do whatever it takes to make it happen.”
A win on Friday puts Manteca in position to claim at least a share of the league championship. Oakdale heads to Central Catholic in Week 10, but both the Mustangs and Buffaloes still have one-loss Sierra to face.
In other Week 6 action:

Central Catholic at East Union: Two teams ravaged by injuries this season tangle at Dino Cunial Field following their entertaining Week 5 contests.
While Central Catholic (2-0 VOL, 2-4 overall) staved off a strong showing from previously unbeaten Sierra 49-36, the Lancers (0-2, 3-3) look to bounce back from a 48-44 setback at Kimball, which rallied for 20 unanswered points in the final 7-plus minutes.
Central dropped its first four games against juggernaut opponents, including De La Salle, with several standouts nursing various ailments. East Union finds itself in a similar predicament, with five starters out last week.

Weston Ranch at Kimball: Diminutive running back Aaron Vickers was a bright spot in Weston Ranch's 63-22 loss to Oakdale last week. He rushed for 145 yards and scored three touchdowns, including a 90-yard kickoff return.
It has otherwise been a rough season for the Cougars (0-1 VOL, 1-3 overall) so far, as they battle through difficult schedule with a dwindling roster. Kimball (1-1, 4-2), meanwhile, continues the pursuit of its first-ever postseason berth.
The Jaguars took a big step toward that with last week's wild comeback led by sophomore QB Nicholas Coronado (31 of 42, 325 yards, two TDs).
Beyer at Lathrop: The Western Athletic Conference's three Modesto schools have emerged as contenders after they all missed the playoffs last year.
Beyer (2-0, 3-2) is in the middle of a drastic turnaround from a winless 2018 campaign and proved it's for real with a 14-7 road victory over reigning WAC tri-champion Los Banos.
Lathrop (1-1, 1-4) remains in the fight for a postseason bid despite last week's 32-18 loss at Pacheco, another defending champ, but there is little room for error. Next for the youthful Spartans are the other Modesto-based teams, Grace Davis and Johansen — both are 4-1.

Livingston at Ripon: The Indians (1-1, 5-1) have to scrap through one more game to get to their much-needed bye week.
Quarterback/safety Nico Ilardi (knee) and running back/linebacker Grant Wiebe (shoulder) were among the five starters to go down with injuries in their Trans Valley League-opening loss at Hilmar two weeks ago. Ripon then skated past winless Riverbank, but more resistance is expected against an upstart Livingston (1-0, 4-1) team coming off its bye. With Ilardi and Wiebe still out, three players from the junior varsity squad have been pulled up to put the Indians over the 20-man mark.

Ripon Christian at Orestimba: After shutting down state champion Denair's Wing-T a week ago, the Knights (2-0, 4-1) take on Orestimba (1-1, 3-2) and its pistol offense that features a new cast of young weapons.
It has been an up-and-down season so far for the Warriors, who had a streak of three straight Southern League championships snapped by Ripon Christian in 2018. Junior QB Andrew Casillas threw three interceptions in their surprising 7-6 loss at Mariposa, but got on track last week in a 35-13 win against Le Grand. Sophomore Jayden Vargas has emerged as Orestimba's top receiver.