SACRAMENTO — Gatorade showers and a blue banner waved Manteca soccer as he made his first look for the DII Championship in opposition to No. 6 Granite Bay. After transferring up from Division III, the Buffaloes proved they might grasp on to the larger boys.
“DII part champions, DII part champions, and this practice retains on rolling,” Manteca head coach Mark Varnum chanted to his workforce.
The Buffaloes beat the Grizzlies 51-48, in a high-scoring recreation that had followers on the sting of their seats at Sacramento Metropolis School’s Hughes Stadium.
“Backside line, I do not care in regards to the rating, I do not care the way it ended, I do not care in regards to the stats; all I care about is hanging this banner on the wall and placing a hoop in your finger,” Varnum stated.
Florida State entry Blake Nichelson wasted no time in displaying off his pace and sturdiness. The 6′-3″ senior scored a four-yard dashing landing on the Buffaloes’ first possession of the sport. He went on to hurry for 218 yards on 31 carries and 4 touchdowns.
When Granite Bay tried to gradual him down, Nichelson escaped for large wins in Manteca’s highest-scoring Finals recreation at school historical past.
Even when Granite Bay thought they had been slowing him down, Nichelson would explode for large wins in Manteca’s highest-scoring last recreation at school historical past.
“It is simply my psychological toughness that retains me going all through the sport,” Nichelson stated. “Such as you guys, I simply should go on the market and be stronger than that drained feeling. You simply should be mentally robust to get previous all of that.
Nichelson was dominant. He added 72 receiving yards on three catches and two touchdowns. Defensively, he caught the Buffaloes’ lone interception that helped them to a 21-7 begin.
With Nichelson and the remainder of Manteca’s offense clicking, Granite Bay wanted to catch up.
“That is the one motive we have received, the one motive we have been in a position to climate the storm and we will climate adversity is guys like Blake, guys like (Alijah) Cota, guys like Hudson Wyatt, who’ve the expertise and the center,” Varnum stated. . “They know they should make the following recreation and we did simply sufficient ultimately to win.”
After Manteca took a 29-14 halftime lead, Granite Bay relied on senior Mccade Lengthy, sophomore Carter Jackson and rookie Isaiah Ene to assist them struggle again.
Lengthy threw for greater than 300 yards, a season excessive and 4 touchdowns. Jackson and Ene rushed for a mixed 116 yards and two dashing touchdowns. Lengthy linked with juniors Frank Cusano, Carson Perry-Smith and sophomore Joseph Cattolico because the Grizzlies got here inside two factors within the second half.
“We knew coming in that we clearly needed to discover a solution to generate offensive manufacturing ourselves,” stated Joe Cattolico, the pinnacle coach of Granite Bay. “Each to maintain their assault off the pitch as a result of they scored plenty of factors in opposition to everybody, however we additionally have to put some factors on the board to beat them.”
Granite Bay scored the second most factors by a workforce in opposition to Manteca this season, but it surely wasn’t sufficient to get rid of the Buffaloes.
Manteca has received a piece championship two years in a row in two totally different divisions and its ninth part title. What the Buffaloes have not been in a position to accomplish is win a NorCal Match recreation. Final 12 months, they misplaced 35-21 within the Division II-A Regional Closing to Wilcox.
Whereas this 12 months’s Manteca workforce is among the greatest groups at school historical past, all eyes at the moment are on subsequent week’s recreation.
“Final 12 months’s workforce, I do not suppose we had the weapons like we do now,” Nichelson stated. “Like Bryson Davis, he is an outstanding participant and he helps me so much there; Cota, he has improved so much since final 12 months, simply our general line. Everybody simply stepped up this 12 months, so I really feel like we sort of have an excellent likelihood at NorCal.
Escalon and Ripon Christian be a part of Manteca because the San Joaquin County groups advance to the following spherical.
In Division VII, No. 5 Escalon staged an epic comeback to defeat No. 2 Sonora 35-34 on Saturday at St. Mary’s Excessive College. Cougars quarterback Donovan Rozevink moved the chains rapidly and senior operating again Ryker Peters was practically unstoppable. Escalon regained the lead within the fourth quarter after Sonora led for many of the recreation.
“It was a battle between two heavyweights; it was actually loopy the best way this match went and every workforce took the very best punch from the opposite,” stated Andrew Beam, the coach- chief of Escalon. “Rozevink had three landing passes, over 200 passing yards, and he threw large throws within the large conditions that we wanted. It was a really mature efficiency from him.”
Ripon Christian turned Division VII part champion after a 28-16 win over No. 3 Woodland Christian on Nov. 25 at St. Mary’s. The Knights additionally needed to battle the Cardinals with the assistance of senior quarterback Trey Fasani who threw for 3 touchdowns.
Report journalist Shannon Belt covers the game. She might be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @Shannon Belt3. Help native information, subscribe to The Stockton Report on https://www.recordnet.com/subscribenow.
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