WESTON RANCH — For the second straight week a failed 2-point conversion would control the Weston Ranch freshman football team’s fate, as the Cougars fell to Argonaut Thursday night, 14-12.
Last week, the Cougars had a chance to claim a win over Calaveras, but a failed 2-point try in the third led to a 12-12 tie.
Mike Perez found Eduardo Malero on a 43-yard touchdown strike with three minutes left in the second quarter.
Perez found Ashton Granado from 64 yards out with 38 seconds left in the fourth.
Traeshon Gully and Tyree McArthur finished with five tackles apiece.
“Little mistakes came back to kill us,” Cougars head coach Dave Smith said. “We had four touchdowns called back on penalties, you can’t expect to win that way.
“We need to get those mistakes cleaned up.”
In the tie with the Redskins, Dawand Bagsby’s 11-yard third-quarter touchdown run tied it.
Granado (12 carries, 126 yards) rumbled for a 72-yard score just before halftime.
Alex Esan collected an interception.
Weston Ranch (0-1-1) heads to Tokay Thursday.
The East Union freshman finally took the field in a game that mattered, and the Lancers took out their aggression on the Bruins, collecting a pair of interceptions (Lane Gore, Jesus Esquivel), and Esquivel preserved the tie with a game-ending sack that turned Bear Creek away at the Lancers four.
Bear Creek took an early 6-0 lead, but EU responded on its ensuing drive with a 35-yard Mark Aguilar run that set up a 40-yard, picturesque touchdown connection between QB Sal Pena and Esquivel.
EU had four golden opportunities to put up the game-winning score, but four passes were either broken up or dropped in the end zone.
“I wasn’t pleased with the score, but I was really pleased with our intensity and passion,” EU head coach Eddie Koeller said. “Our defense was flying 11 hats to the ball and our offense showed some explosiveness.”
Aguilar finished with over 100 yards rushing, and Tristan Alfred drew praise from Koeller for his monster performance at defensive tackle.
“Alfred was in the back field making tackles all night,” Koeller said.
Linebackers Brennan Koeller and CJ Cardenas stood out as well.
Angel Villanueva got the party started with an interception midway through the first, and Tyler-Ray Hewitt took it from there, making it 6-0 with a 73-yard touchdown run opened up by Aaron Shiffler, Kyle Kuperus and Jayson Manuta.
After Granada tied the contest, Greyson Yarnell responded with a 68-yard kick off return for a touchdown, to make it 12 - 6 at half.
Guillermo Nunez found D’ari Abercrombie from 45 yards out in the third.
Sierra held the Matadors to 158 yards of total offense.
Nunez finished 8 for 19 for 126 yards.
“For the first time out, we had some highlights that made the crowd roar,” Sierra head coach Walt Brookshire said. “The kids played hard, we just need to fine-tune some mechanics.”
Sierra (1-0) travels to Patterson Wednesday.
The Buffaloes moved to 2-0 on the year behind an outstanding effort on both sides of the ball.
Defensive lineman Daniel Clemons turned in a sack and a rare interception when he hauled in a batted pass in the second quarter.
Anthony Cota snagged an interception of his own and rumbled 40 yards for the pick-six.
“Cota’s interception put the dagger in their hearts,” Manteca head coach Jon Shaefer said. “It put us up 20-0 at half.”
Cota finished with 146 rushing on 16 carries on the offensive end, good for touchdown runs of 45 and 19.
Jeremy Randall (85 yards) turned in a 65-yard touchdown run to cap the Buffaloes scoring in the fourth, and Eddie Smith (68 yards) opened the scoring in the first with a 20-yard score.
“We played a very good game on both sides of the ball,” Shaefer said. “Once again we came out and scored two quick touchdowns in the first to put our opponent in a hole early.
“That’s big when you’re on the road.”
Manteca hosts Enochs Thursday before opening Valley Oak League play against Weston Ranch.