BRENTWOOD – There is no practice Monday for the novice Manteca Jr. Timberwolves – there is nobody left for them to beat.
Manteca stunned the previously undefeated Northwest Trojans by scoring the first three touchdowns of the game Saturday in the Delta Youth Football League Super Bowl and then held the Trojans off for a thrilling 41-26 win at Brentwood High’s Ohmstede Field.
“We talked to our kids at practice about wanting it more,” said Jr. Timberwolves coach Tom Perea, dripping from the celebratory iced-water bath. “We went out and we took that game.
“I thought it was going to be a blowout but Lincoln came back and made it a close one at the end but we stayed strong.”
After trailing 28-6, Northwest battled back to within 34-26 with 5:52 left in the game. But as he did twice earlier on runs of 6 and 8 yards, Alijah Cota (22 carries, 145 yards) crossed the goal line once more, this time from 2 yards out to put the game out of reach at 41-26 with 2:10 showing on the clock.
Tommy Perea (10 carries, 60 yards) started the scoring for Manteca on an 8-yard run in the first quarter. Cota then scored his first two touchdowns for a 21-0 lead when the Trojans returned a kickoff to make the score 21-6 with 3:51 left in the first half.
Prior to being forced from the game with a leg injury, Gianni Addiego (eight carries, 85 yards) of the Jr. Timberwolves reeled of a 20-yard scoring run with 2:38 left in the second quarter for a 28-6 halftime lead.
Luke Abrew (three carries, 45 yards) completed only two passes for Manteca – he threw just three times – but one was for a first down on fourth down and the other was a 10-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Vanarsdell for a 34-14 lead late in the third period.
Northwest came into the game allowing just six points per game, making Manteca’s quick start all the more stunning. The Jr. Timberwolves offensive line of Tyler Looney, Jason Garcia, Colton Peterson, Paul Gaines and Jason Agulay dominated up front allowing Manteca to rack up over 300 yards of offense.
Cota and Addiego led the Jr. Timberwolves defense with four tackles each. Abrew and Mitch Lill (interception) had three stops apiece – two of Abrew’s prevented Northwest touchdowns – and Eric Fitch and Darius Wright had two stops each.
Lill returned his interception 45 yards to the Trojans 6-yard line, setting up Cota’s 6-yard scoring run.