The Manteca Cowboys had a sparkling debut in the new NorCal All-American Youth Football League, as all four squads won their openers Saturday at Stagg High in Stockton.
The varsity team, which captured the National Youth Football League Super Bowl title in 2010, came back to beat the Jr. Delta Kings, 20-14.
Trailing 14-6 at halftime, Manteca tightened up defensively to shut down the host over the final two quarters. The defense came up big after Just Scoz’s 15-yard touchdown run closed the Cowboys in 14-12, giving the offense a shot at taking the lead with 1 minute, 50 seconds remaining.
Manteca took advantage, but not after putting itself in a fourth-and-25 situation. Quarterback Seth Santos connected with John Robertson for a 57-yard pass play and the winning touchdown. The victory was secured when Darrion Parnell recovered the onside kick.
The defense was led by Val Gomez, Parker Caston and Donicio Samoy with five tackles apiece.
Cowboys 26, Jr. Delta Kings 0
Angel Sena found three different ways to contribute touchdowns for the Cowboys.
Sena tacked on the Cowboys’ first points with a 38-yard fumble return set up by Gabriel Francisco’s forced fumble. Sena, the quarterback on offense, would later hook up with Francisco for a 32-yard score and scrambled from 39 yards out to cap the final score.
Seuseu Alofaituli paced the defense with 11 tackles and grinded out 67 yards and a TD on offense. Marcus Panelo, Joseph Espinosa, Francisco (two forced fumbles, interception) and Sena added six stops apiece. Brandon Arreola also intercepted a pass.
Cowboys 13, Jr. Delta Kings 6
Matthew Pilkay rushed 16 times for 58 yards and accounted for both of Manteca’s touchdown runs. Presley DeMello contributed an extra-point run and finished with 66 yards on 14 carries.
Seth Owings compiled five tackles, while Andrew Sena and DeMello both recovered a fumble.
Cowboys 33, Jr. Delta Kings 6
Kimoni Stanley anchored Manteca’s one-sided win with 257 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Joelle Urtega and Joshua Grabowski each chimed in with a touchdown scamper.
Mark Sena amassed 13 tackles, while Nicco Cedolini racked up 12 with a sack for the deense. Dereck Alicea Jr. contributed six tackles, a sack and two forced fumbles.