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Victory over Jr. Timberwolves paves way
The Jr. Timberwolves’ Alijah Cota (5) follows the block of Bryson McMichael (66) and Joel Lopez (3) in the team’s 44-34 loss to the Manteca Cowboys Saturday. - photo by DAVE CAMBPELL The Bulletin

Keona Cayode helped the Manteca Cowboys punch their ticket to the Northern California Youth Football League Super Bowl when he gave the Cowboys the lead for good late in the first half on a touchdown via a 75-yard kickoff return on the way to a 44-34 win over the Manteca Jr. Timberwolves in the NCYFL Varsity League Championship game on Saturday at Dino Cunial Field.

 Including the kickoff return, Cayode totaled 180 all-purpose yards with rushing touchdowns of 1, 22 and 49 yards, gaining 105 rushing yards. Angel Ramirez (four receptions, 119 yards) pulled in a pair of 47-yard touchdown catches – one from Dylan Lee (3 of 6 passing, 105 yards) and the other from Ace Avelar. Marques Callahan and Emilio Perez also contributed on offense for the 

 Cayode was a defensive standout as well, making 11 tackles and an on-side kick recovery. Colton Stonum and J.R. Espinosa made six tackles each, Nick Luna (fumble recovery) had five stops, Emilio Perez four and Matthew Mejia, Lee, and Avelar three apiece. Indervir Sandhu, Mariah Gill, Joshua Phillips and Joey Mendez all contributed on defense for the Cowboys.

 Alijah Cota ground out 200 yards on 25 carries for the Jr. Timberwolves, scoring on runs of 3 and 4 yards. Tommy Perea added 1-, 3- and 6-yard touchdown runs, gaining 71 yards on 11 carries and Keanu Duenas tallied 71 yards on eight carries.   

 Jason Agulay led the Jr. Timberwolves defense with six tackles followed by Adrian Rios with five stops, Evyn White four, Elijah Ware three and Keanu Duenas (fumble recovery) two. 

 The Cowboys will play in the NCYFL Super Bowl at Tracy High on Saturday at 4 p.m. 



Modesto Raiders 20,

Manteca Cowboys 12

 Mistakes hurt the Cowboys, including two red-zone fumbles that proved very costly.

Jeremy Ap’e tallied 96 yards on 16 carries for Manteca. Nikko Juarez had an 8-yard touchdown run for the Cowboys in the first quarter and Robbie Espinosa scored from 24 yards out in the second period. Christopher Gallego chipped in 51 yards on nine carries. 

 Gallego paced the Cowboys defense with six tackles followed by Ap’e and Kayden Jones with five apiece, Devin Downey with four and Dylan Stonum with three.



Manteca Jr. Timberwolves 28, Tracy Rampage 6

With the Jr. Timberwolves held scoreless in the first half, Kendhal Sweet-Mallory led a second-half rally for Manteca with two touchdowns. 

 Sweet-Mallory (10 carries, 80 yards) scored on runs of 5 and 30 yards. Leiland Riggelman (12 carries, 134 yards) added a 34-yard touchdown run and Elijah Pugh (six carries, 63 yards) dashed 40 yards for the other Jr. Timberwolves score. Brody Carabello chipped in 32 yards on three carries.

 Brody Carabello (fumble recovery) and Tino Torres led the Manteca defense with seven tackles each. Alex Espinoza added six stops, Sweet-Mallory (interception) five, Riggelman four and Pugh (interception) and Brixton Menchaca-Ortiz two apiece. 

 The Jr. Timberwolves square off with the Pittsburgh Jr. Pirates in the NCYFL Super Bowl at Tracy High on Saturday at 10 a.m.