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Frosh Buffs outduel TWolves in VOL win
Sierra tailback Jayson Manuta looks for running room against Manteca’s defense during Thursday’s crosstown freshman football game at Guss Schmiedt Field. - photo by HIME ROMERO
The Manteca High freshman football team took its season to new heights with an impressive 26-18 win over the Sierra Timberwolves for its second consecutive Valley Oak League victory.

After a scoreless period to open the game Manteca would strike first to take a 6-0 lead, but Sierra would immediately return the favor as the Timberwolves picked off a Manteca pass and returned it for a touchdown to tie things up at 6-6.

“We came out flat and you could tell our players were nervous as cross-town rivalries will do that to freshman,” Manteca coach Jon Shaefer said. “We made a lot of mental mistakes, turned the ball over to the Blue School three times in the first quarter and our defense held them. . . We settled down and started playing Buffalo football and they could not stop us.”
Manteca High is now 5-0 overall and 2-0 in VOL play. Anthony Cota had four touchdowns that all came on the run generating 186 yards in 18 carries. Ryan Fox passed for a touchdown and a 2-point conversion plus had a third quarter pass interception.

Eddie Smith led the Buff defense with six tackles, two sacks and an interception. Also picking up sacks were Carl Huckaby, Nic Burrows, and Daniel Clemons.

Sierra battled and banged, but the Timberwolves were unable to keep pace with the Buffaloes on the scoreboard even though they out produced Sierra in total yards 287-235.

“Both teams turned the ball over throughout the game,” Sierra head coach Walter Brookshire said. “We had the opportunity to score, but we could not finish it.

“That will always cost you in a close ball game.”

Sierra will look to bounce back from the 8-point loss when they travel to Ceres to take on the Central Valley Hawks, while the Buffaloes will make the trip east and take on the Sonora Wildcats.

Weston Ranch 42, East Union 0
The Cougars wasted little time asserting themselves as the more dominant team, jumping out on the Lancers 24-0 after the first period of play.

Weston Ranch scored every way imaginable, putting points on the board rushing, passing as well as via fumble and interception returns for scores.

Aston Granada kicked the scoring off with a 63-yard touchdown run and teammate Hector Figueroa followed suite with a 1-yard touchdown plunge early in the first period.

Candalario Elizondo and Eduardo Melero got in on the action, running a fumble and interception back, respectively, securing the Cougars’ win well before halftime.

Cougar starting quarterback Matt Moore would find Granado for a 33-yard score as time expired in the first half, building Weston Ranch a 30-0 lead in front of the visiting crowd.

The Cougars (1-1 VOL, 2-2-1 overall) will look for their second league win when they play host to the Ceres Bulldogs Thursday. East Union’s road doesn’t get any easier as they make a trip to the Corral to tangle with the Oakdale Mustangs.

Ripon Christian 35, Turlock Christian 8
The Knights were able to do just about everything right as they closed out the non-league schedule with a one-sided victory over Turlock Christian High.

Tim Ignacio and Dalton Koslosky led the way for Ripon Christian, combining for over 200 yards of total offense and four touchdowns.

The Knights got great play up front, enabling them to get runners in the open field and sustain drives with physical dominance.

“The offensive line really controlled the line of scrimmage tonight,” head coach Michael Dotinga said. “All night they were opening up huge holes for the running backs.”

Ignacio was the leading rusher, pounding Turlock Christian for 165 yards, on 15 carries. Zach Hildago rushed for 53 yards, while teammate Michael Brown bruised his way to 30 yards on five carries.

Ripon Christian will need a strong week of practice as they open Trans Valley League play with the Escalon Cougars Friday at Escalon High.