TRACY — The Manteca Jr. Timberwolves varsity overcame injuries, turnovers and horrible field conditions Sunday to take a late lead after a two-score halftime deficit only to see the Delta Youth Football Super Bowl championship slip away when the undefeated South Stockton Vikings scored in the last minute to escape West High’s Steve Lopez Stadium with a 25-20 win.
The previously undefeated Jr. Timberwolves trailed 19-6 at halftime and neither team scored in the fourth quarter. With 9:54 left in the game Malik Nov scored on an 8-yard run to draw Manteca within 19-13.
The persistent rain finally caught up with the Vikings when they coughed the ball up with 8:36 left in the game and Jesse Miranda recovered it for Manteca. It took the Jr. Timberwolves a little over a minute to take the lead when Marcus Miller slammed in from the 7-yard line to tie the game and Kimoni Stanley (10 carries, 82 yards) powered in the conversion run for a 20-19 lead with 8:36 left in the game.
With time running down, South Stockton converted on fourth and 15 by a yard. One play later, the Vikings drew the Manteca defense up on what looked like a sweep that turned out to be a halfback pass, scoring from 33 yards out with 54 seconds left in the game.
The Jr. Timberwolves started out pounding the ball up the middle in the hands of Anthony Corales who had five carries for 70 yards in the first quarter with only one carry eclipsing less than 10 yards. Unfortunately, Corales was cut down on defense and injured his ankle, ending his night early.
Jesse Miranda (four carries, 38 yards) put Manteca ahead 6-0 in the first quarter on a 1-yard run.
Alan Duran, Ritchie Garcia Jr., Miladi Messaoud and Stanley all played well on defense for the Jr. Timberwolves.
N. Stockton Bengals 27, Jr. Timberwolves 18
The Bengals scored two late touchdowns to get a cushion that the Jr. Timberwolves could not overcome in a battle of undefeated teams.
With 6:41 left in the third quarter, Marcelo Morales (18 carries, 147 yards) rambled 41 yards to draw Manteca within 14-12. Unfortunately by the time Luke Weaver (8 of 15 passing, 115 yards) scored on a 2-yard run with 1:19 left in the game, North Stockton had added two more scores and put the game out of reach.
Ivan Mugia (fumble recovery), Alonzo Drew, Alijah Cota and Gannon Anderson had five stops apiece for the Jr. Timberwolves.