The two-point conversion has long been the nemesis of Manteca High football coach Eric Reis.
Thanks to a scheduling snafu by the athletic department on Friday evening, Reis was given a chance to rehearse a few of his goal-line packages during a 49-7 victory over Valley Christian of Dublin.
Really, he had no choice.
The Buffaloes took the field without their starting kicker on Friday evening. Senior Marcus Montano was finishing up the opening match of the Buff Cup, the boys soccer team’s annual tournament.
Montano is the soccer team’s star striker, a fourth-year player and three-time All-Area selection. He’s also got one of the strongest foots in the south county, totaling 86 career touchbacks.
Montano missed the first two possessions of Friday’s football game, forcing Reis to go for two each time. The Buffaloes, who lost a heartbreaker to Santa Clara-Wilcox last year when then-quarterback Joe Menzel fumbled the snap on the two-point try on the final play, found success on each of its attempts.
Quarterback Dakarai Charles connected with tight-end Greg Jones to make it 8-0, and then Hector Soto burst through a gap to make it 16-0 six minutes later.
Montano arrived at the tail-end of the first quarter, but the double-duty may have taken a toll on him. He was just 3-of-5 on point-after kicks, which seems like a trivial thing to discuss in a 42-point victory.
But consider this: Montano missed just three PATs in 87 attempts last fall.
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Sierra’s LaQuaglia kicks the pain
Marissa LaQuaglia split placekicking duties for Sierra last year and nailed 24 of her 30 point-after attempts.
Through just two games in 2014 she has already attempted half the PATs that she did a season ago. The Timberwolves kept her busy in Friday’s 56-0 thrashing of visiting Central Valley, but at one point her availability for the remainder of the game was in question.
After booting a point to make it 35-0 with 7:34 left in the second quarter, LaQuaglia, knocked to the turf on the follow through, came up limping while holding her kicking leg. Assistant coach Jim Anderson helped her off the field, and not long after she was on the bench nursing the injury with a bag of ice.
LaQuaglia wasn’t given much time to rest. A three-and-out hold by the defense set up another quick strike for Sierra, which scored again at the 4:41 mark. The Timberwolves’ kicker hopped off the bench, limped onto the field and split the uprights high and down pipe. She finished 8 for 8 on the night.
“She’s tough, man,” Sierra head coach Jeff Harbison said. ”You ever see her in soccer? She’s fun to watch.”
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Remember his voice
Manteca High will be in the market for a new voice following the 2014 season.
Longtime announcer Ed Burroughs is stepping away from the microphone, retiring from the booth after 20 seasons.
Burroughs, whose two daughters graduated from Manteca High, says he’s missed only three or four games in two decades of service.
“My girls graduated,” he said before the start of Friday’s game, “and now it’s my turn.”
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Party time at Lathrop High
Lathrop pulled out all the stops for its home opener at Bennie Gatto Field.
Spartan faithful gathered in the parking lot an hour before kickoff, where they were treated to a deejay and taco truck.
The good times spilled over onto the field as Lathrop rolled up Liberty Ranch, 24-8.