As you might’ve guessed, the football rivalry game between Manteca (5-0, 2-0 Valley Oak League) and Sierra (3-2, 1-1) is The Record’s Prep Football Game of the Week. The Timberwolves host the Buffaloes at 7 p.m. Friday at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium in Manteca, and I’ll be there live updating on Twitter.
To take a look at the rivalry, which is in its 21st matchup, according to The Manteca Bulletin, here’s a quick-hitting, bit-by-bit look at the history and matchup between the “blue” and “green” schools.
- Historical dichotomy: When Manteca was founded in 1920, World War I had ended just two years ago, and Woodrow Wilson was president. When Sierra was founded, in 1994, we were smack-dab in the middle of Bill Clinton’s first, less-controversial term in the oval office. Manteca has four Sac-Joaquin Section championships in its name, while Sierra is yet to reach a section semifinal game.
- The All-Time Series: According to The Bulletin, and my good friend Jonamar Jacinto, Manteca leads the all-time series 14-6 against Sierra. The school opened in 1994, and Sierra began varsity football in 1995. Buffaloes coach Eric Reis, in his 14th season, is 10-3 against the Timberwolves. Sierra coach Jeff Harbison, in his 11th season, is 3-7 against Manteca.
- Last Time Out: What a scene it was for high school football. Halloween. Costumes. Rain. Mud. Slop. Guss Schmiedt Field. Manteca hosted Sierra and ended its rival’s unbeaten run: 34-20. Timberwolves running back Mark Paule Jr., then a junior, was held to season-lows with 56 rushing yards and zero touchdowns. Now-graduated Hector Soto was beastly for the Buffaloes, with a season-high 197 rushing yards, and two TDs.
- X-Factor on Friday: The Buffaloes defense has pitched three shutouts this season, a big reason why Manteca has outscored its opponents by a combined 220 points. But Sierra’s offense just put up 54 against East Union on the road, and is at home, full of pride and seeking revenge for last season, in a rivalry game. The Timberwolves will score a touchdown or two, but enough to beat the Buffaloes? Read my predictions to find out my thoughts.
- All Too Familiar: Not only is Manteca coach Eric Reis an alumnus of the school, but so is Sierra coach Jeff Harbison. A decade of guiding the “blue” program, though, has probably turned his preferences just a tad.
- Quote of the Week: From Darrion Kitson, a Manteca senior linebacker and fullback: “We don’t like blue. They don’t like us.” Nuf’ said.
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