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Jr. Buffs take control of trenches
Tight end Chuck Good is upended after a reception. - photo by BRANDON PETERSEN/The Bulletin

The Manteca Jr. Buffaloes bounced back from their first loss off the Trans Valley League season Sunday, cruising 22-0 past the Modesto Rams at Manteca High.

The Jr. Buffs was coming off a 22-16 loss to the Central Saints despite a 100-yard rushing day from Matt Wilkerson.

Manteca (2-1) had little trouble imposing its will on both sides of the ball Sunday thanks to its dominating line. Offensive linemen Joe Eavenson, Alex Cardwell, Tim Giannosa, Giovanni Galletta and Gus Ladue paved the way for Wilkerson, who scampered 124 yards along with two touchdowns.

Hector Soto grinded out 79 yards and a score. Michael Hatfield converted two of three conversion kicks to cap the scoring.

On the defensive end, linemen Ike Gutierrez, Chase McKee and Hatfield anchored the squad’s second shutout of the season. Chuck Good compiled seven tackles and a sack, and Soto recorded six stops. Josh Silva, Justin Silva, Brandon Dabney, Arnel Surnip and Juan Moreno played well in the defensive backfield.

Manteca will look to string together victories next Saturday when it faces the Big Valley Sabres in Modesto.

Chiefs 14, Bulldogs 0

Troy Burth capped off the Ripon Chiefs’ opening drive with a TD run up the middle, and the rest was left up to the stingy defense.

Marcus Patterson’s 20-yard TD run and safety in the second half capped the final score.

Junior varsity
Rams 44, Jr. Buffaloes 0

Things started sour for Manteca, which lost starting QB Jeremy Silva to an injury on just the third play from scrimmage.

It was a struggle offensively the rest of the way out, as three rushers, led by Alex Martell, combined for just 31 yards. Silva completed a 6-yard screen pass to Angel Perez for the Jr. Buffaloes’ only completion before exiting the contest.

Martell also highlighted the defense with 4.5 tackles and a sack. Anthony Galletta contributed a sack and a fumble recovery. The Rams were able to break it open with three touchdowns on special teams returns.

Jaguars 26, Sabercats 6

In the Central California League, the Manteca Jaguars evened their record to 1-1 with a lopsided effort.

Lechi Nkwocha was unstoppable for the Jags, as he amassed 213 yards and four touchdowns on just 11 carries. He only had one rushing attempt in the second half. Raul Uribe booted through a 2-point conversion for the rest of Manteca’s points.

Nkwocha also spearheaded the defense with seven tackles, and Julian Diaz finished with five. Andrew Guevara (three TFL), Anthony Palomarez (two sacks) and Devon Higares each recovered a fumble.

Manteca opens the American Football Conference regular season against the Merced Bears Saturday at Sierra High.

Chiefs 40, Bulldogs 7

The Tri-Valley Bulldogs were dominated in every facet as Ripon got scoring contributions from several players on offense.

Running back Nick Price ran for a pair of scores, one a 45-yard jaunt. Quarterback Dwight Jackson rushed one to paydirt from 30 yards out and was in on another TD with a pass to Trent Murphy.

Caleb McCusker set up his 2-yard plunge late in the second half with a 25-yard scamper. Nick Navarro was a perfect 5-for-5 on 2-point conversion kicks.

Chiefs 30, Bulldogs 6

Luke Navarro, Logan Orlando, Marcello Longstreth, Aaron Paschini and R.J. Davis each scored touchdowns to lead Ripon’s rout.

Orlando’s short-yardage quarterback sneak in the first half was set up by Davis’ 70-yard sprint. Longstreth recovered a fumble to highlight a sterling defensive effort that included Andrew Durrer, Alex Padilla, Zachary Bailey, Lucas Johnston and Davis.


— Jonamar Jacinto