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Buffaloes trample Weston Ranch; Sierra next
Manteca High running back Lechi Nkwocha avoids the tackle from Weston Ranchs Austin Ferrari en route to a short touchdown run in the first half of Thursdays Valley Oak League freshman football contest at Guss Schmiedt Field. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO

The reserves have had ample playing time for the Manteca High freshman football team, and that didn’t change in its 44-6 blowout of visiting Weston Ranch last Thursday.

The win keeps the Buffaloes (2-0, 5-0 overall) undefeated and sets up a big Valley Oak League contest with rival Sierra.

“We constantly preach to our starters that it is their jobs to get their football brothers playing time, and tonight they took care of that in a big way with well over 25 minutes of game experience,” Manteca coach Jon Shafer said. “I’m very proud of the whole team. When our second- and third-team players got in, we did not seem to miss a beat, and our starters were on the sidelines rooting them on like good teammates.”

Five different Buffaloes scored touchdowns.

Quarterback Dominick Pisano set the tone in the first quarter, hurdling over a tackler near the goal line to punctuate a dazzling 25-yard touchdown run. He also threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Gardner in the second quarter, who added a 30-yard scoring run.

Hector Soto (1-yard run), Lechi Nkwocha (20-yard run) and Anthony Kiefabber (16-yard run) each contributed a touchdown. Newcomer Marcus Montano, a standout for the school’s varsity soccer team, nailed an impressive 40-yard field goal and booted all of his kickoffs into the end zone.

On defense, Alex Caldwell (fumble recovery), Jose Soria (interception), Cole Reis (fumble recovery) and Soto (fumble recovery) forced turnovers that led to points. Steven Martinez, Nkwocha and Soto combined for five quarterback sacks.