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Buffs crush Ceres, still perfect in VOL
East Union High’s Sam Robinson pulls down the reception and heads for the end zone during Friday’s game against Central Valley. East Union prevailed 12-6. - photo by HIME ROMERO
CERES – The Manteca freshman football team continued its streak of unquestioned dominance Thursday night with 52-0 trouncing of the Ceres Bulldogs.
And they didn’t waste any time in putting those points on the board.

Anthony Cota broke a 93-yard touchdown run on the Buffaloes first possession of the game, and would scamper in again in the second quarter on a 40-yard run – catching a Ryan Fox pass on the ensuing conversion play to cap it off.

Fox – who scored the conversion run on the game’s first touchdown – found the end zone again when he broke free and dashed 28 yards to cross the goal line. He threw the ensuing conversion pass to Cota to take a 24-0 lead at halftime.
Cota finished the game with 10 rushes for 205 yards and two touchdowns.

Manteca freshman head coach Jon Schaefer wasn’t ultimately impressed with his team’s performance in the first-half – which mainly consisted of big plays rather than steady drives.

“We came out flat and we were not playing Buffalo football,” Schaefer said. “However, after a spirited halftime talk we flipped the switch and came out and played like a 7-0 football team should.”

And they did in fact open the second half with a bang.

Eddie Smith returned the kickoff 65 yards for a touchdown to keep the fire under Manteca burning. He would go on to score two additional touchdowns in the third quarter – rushing in from 40 yards and 30 yards, respectively.

Aaron Cabalero capped off the Buffalo scoring attack with a six-yard touchdown run.

“This was a total team win as we were able to get our second and third string guys in for the majority of the third quarter and all of the fourth quarter,” Schaefer said. “We had good success driving the ball down the field on Ceres and I’m proud of how our entire team played tonight.”

Manteca will host the Oakdale Mustangs – who are also undefeated in Valley Oak League play – at Guss Schmiedt field.

Sierra 36, Sonora 7
The Sierra High freshman didn’t feel like waiting for their chance to score on offense.

So with just under seven minutes to play in the first quarter Joey Cantu stripped the ball from the Sonora quarterback and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown.

After Sonora tied the game at the end of the first quarter, the Timberwolves responded with two Jayson Manuta touchdown runs – both coming from 13-yards out – to give Sierra a 22-7 halftime lead.

Sierra’s ability to maintain the lead came on the heels of their stingy defense that tightened up immensely after Sonora broke the 56-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

“Our defense is playing good football and keeping other teams in check,” Sierra head coach Walt Brookshire said. “Our defense created five turnovers – recovering three fumbles and intercepting two passes – and that really set the tone.

“It’s good to have great depth in coming off the bench and still carrying the load and not miss a beat – you’re only as good as your players coming off the bench and we’re getting good play with all of our kids on both sides of the ball.

Devon Manois added Sierra’s other two touchdowns in the third quarter when he broke free from 29 yards and 63 yards, respectively – finishing the game with 127 total yards on only seven carries.

Sierra finished game with 300 total yards of offense, while holding the Wildcats to only 135.

East Union 12, C. Valley 6
After finding themselves down 6-0 at halftime, the East Union freshman football team wasn’t about to give up and roll over.
On its first drive in the second half, the Lancers tied the score with a 34-yard Jack Keller pass to Anthony Flores. The conversion attempt failed.

The game would be a battle back and forth until the clock was winding down in the fourth quarter when Dingell Truijillo scored from one-yard out with less than two minutes to play to give East Union the lead that they would hold on to for victory.

“This was maybe one of the most satisfying games in my coaching career, mainly because of how far these young men have come,” East Union head coach Eddie Koeller said. “They have worked so hard to get to this point, and quite frankly this was a team that we thought we matched up well against and we wanted this game.

Quarterback Jack Keller was 6-of-13 from the pocket with 113 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions, while Anthony Flores had five catches for 63 yards – including a 34-yard touchdown catch.
—Jason Campbell