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Buffs host Ripon, CV in seasons first action
One of Ripon’s several running backs fights through a visage face-mask penalty in their action against Central Valley Saturday. - photo by HIME ROMERO
The Manteca Buffaloes welcomed Ripon and Central Valley highs to Manteca High, officially kicking off the 2010 high school football campaign. All three programs met up for a preseason scrimmage, broken into 10-play intervals, rotating offense and defense between the three teams.

Manteca opened on offense against the Ripon Indians and wasted little time asserting themselves as a dual-threat on offense. The Buffaloes let starting quarterback Matt Burrows put it in the air early, and turned to junior running back Jamonte Jones to work the ground game.

“That’s why these (scrimmages) are always good,” Manteca head coach Eric Reis said. “You get to see other teams, and I really emphasized to these guys to bring your stuff. I know coach (Chris) Johnson and their staff were bringing a lot. We didn’t pick it all up, but I want to put our guys under that pressure.

“Because we know that’s what’s going to happen in a real game.”

Manteca found success almost immediately, when Burrows found a streaking Michael Timmins streaking up the home sideline. Timmins made a play on the ball, coming down over a Ripon defender and finishing out the remainder of about a 45-yard score.

Timmins would haul in three more Burrows passes, separating himself from the defender with each catch. Timmins’ success complimented Jones aggressive running style. Jones hit the hole effectively in a half-dozen carries, breaking his longest run for about 15 yards against the Indians’ first team.

Ripon’s defense rebounded after surrendering the long touchdown pass to Burrows, keeping the Buffaloes out of the end zone and not allowing a score in its series against the Central Valley offense.

“I think that our kids are getting after the ball, but it is still so early in the year and we have a lot of work to do” Ripon head coach Chris Johnson said. “But our kids play hard, they hustle and that is half of the battle right there.”

Offensively, Ripon likely put up its best effort in the scrimmage. The Indians came out against Central Valley and basically had their way the first five plays. Quarterback Alex Gustin looked fast and in control, handing off the ball to various Indians that all matched at least one description – fast.

“We still have a long way to go,” Johnson said of his offensive unit. “But it was a nice glimpse. We were able to move the ball a little bit; we’ve got some speed and some kids that can run.

“The timing is a issue that we have to get better, but I’m pleased with what we saw tonight.”

The Indians also got solid play from their second-team quarterback Jake McCreath who effectively moved the offense and also hauled in Ripon’s first score on a bootleg-pass from Gustin against the Central Valley defense.
Manteca’s defensive effort saw Johnny Ruiz make some plays from the linebacker position, and Timmins also showed himself capable from the defensive backfield.

Ripon will get their non-league schedule underway Friday when they travel to Ceres to take on the Ceres Bulldogs, and the Buffaloes will try and maximize another week of practice before hosting the Galt Warriors Sept. 3 in their season opener.