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ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Nikko Juarez, Manteca football
AOW Nikko Juarez

Called up from the junior varsity squad for last Friday’s game against Lodi at the Grape Bowl, the Buffaloes freshman wasted little time in making his presence known. He ran for 12 yards on his first carry, and by the time the final buzzer sounded he had racked up 121 yards rushing on nine carries and had a hand in three touchdowns in Manteca’s 48-6 running-clock win.

“Nikko has been hungry to show what he could do at the varsity level, and he definitely delivered,” Manteca coach Mark Varnum said. “The sky is the limit for this kid.” 

Juarez got the Buffaloes on the board midway through the first period when he capped a 10-play, 60-yard drive with a 28-yard gallop for a 7-0 lead. Juarez capped the first-half scoring with a 48-yard halfback pass to Quinn Martinez with 4:54 left in the second quarter for a 34-0 lead.

Juarez returned the second-half kickoff 65 yards for Manteca’s next-to-last touchdown and a 41-0 lead.

After the last three games on the road, Juarez will join the rest of his squad Friday night at Guss Schmiedt Field when the Buffaloes open Valley Oak League play against Kimball at 7 p.m.