Things didn’t exactly start out the way that the Manteca Jaguars expected on their road trip to Merced Saturday.
The Bears scored 12 early points to put the Jaguars (5-1) into a hole and ate up half of the time in the first quarter to force Manteca to start executing its game plan or start sinking into an even deeper hole.
But after Mark Paule Jr. broke off a pair of touchdown runs from 40 and 15 yards out to give the Jaguars the lead in the second half, the Manteca machine had been jumpstarted, leading to a 55-12 victory that helped the squad take sole possession of first place in the NFC Division in the Cen-Cal Junior Football League.
Merced (4-2) was tied with Manteca coming into the game.
“The Jags’ coaching staff was all proud of the way that Manteca responded to being down and putting up 55 unanswered points,” said coach Mark Paule.
Offensively, Damon finished with seven carries for 62 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also had an interception. Marcos Castillo carried the ball eight times for 55 yards and a touchdown, and booted four PATs and a 25-yard field goal.
Paule Jr. led the rushing attack with 93 yards on eight carries with two touchdowns. He also ran in an extra point and threw another to Carlos Juarez.
Defensively Mike Relloque had eight tackles, two blocked PATs, a forced fumbled and a deflected pass while Damon Lynch had four tackles and a fumble recovery that was returned for a touchdown. Kody Justice had five tackles and a fumble recovery, while Armando Herrera had a pair of tackles and a forced fumble.
The Jaguars will travel to Ceres on Saturday, Oct. 8 to take on the Seahawks.
Jaguars 12, Bears 6
John Cohen singlehandedly helped the Jaguars rise to victory.
Cohen passed for 120 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 80 yards and scampering into the end zone. Tydus Verhoeven pulled in Cohen’s touchdown pass, finishing the game with 45 receiving yards. Carlos Perez had a catch that set up the game-winning touchdown.
Israel Garay and Kobe Shippley led the defense with a pair of sacks each and four tackles for losses.
Jaguars 7, Bears 0
Defense proved to be the key to the Jaguars’ double-overtime victory.
Kyle Lynch, Domenic Rea and Johnathan Dunn were the team’s leading tacklers, while Marcelo Grajeda, Jose Ceja, Nick Perez and Domenic Wolfson also contributed.
It was Angel Garay who scored the winning touchdown in the game’s second overtime, following the blocks of Miguel Sequiera and Jaylen Jackson. Garay also scored on the ensuing conversion. Johnathan Dunn intercepted a pass on Merced’s next possession to solidify the victory.
The Jaguars are now in first place in the Cen-Cal NFC division and travel to Ceres High on Saturday to take on the Seahawks.
Jaguars 7, Bears 7
Jaimare Wayne scored the lone touchdown for the Jaguars in the rookies division matchup between Manteca and Merced Saturday afternoon.
Wayne and Lorenzo Ceja also recorded eight tackles apiece while Josh Hebert tallied six and Zelmar Vedder finished with five. Alonzo Drew had four tackles as well.
Wayne led the team in rushing with 37 yards. Vedder finished with 26 while Ceja had nine. He also recovered a fumble.