Asai Tupuota took a handoff 20 yards for a touchdown with about two minutes remaining to give Patterson a thrilling come-from-behind league win over the Buffaloes at Manteca High School.
“It was a great win for the kids,” Patterson coach Rick Azevedo said. “We came together and grew as a team as the season wore on.”
As the team trailed 22-6 late in the third quarter, Michael Lawson scored twice in the second half to help lead the Ravens (7-3) to victory. He found the end zone on a 50-yard grab and later added a 15-yard TD run.
Caden Johnson also scored on a 5-yard carry.
“After we snatched momentum from (Manteca), our defense put it on them,” Azevedo said. “This wasn’t just about the win, it was also about how we won.”
The campaign continues for seven Patterson players. Nicolas Priester, Jacob Days, Miguel Mejia-Miranda, Jerry Arredondo, Joseph DeLaRosa, Tyler Wheeler and Lawson all earned spots in the Trans-Valley Youth Football League All-Star game, which will be played Nov. 5, a week from Saturday, at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds.
A late-season test for two teams about to meet in the TVYFL playoffs provided ample opportunity for evaluation this past weekend.
Patterson (8-2) held on for a 25-22 victory over the host Buffaloes (5-5).
“It was kind of interesting,” Patterson coach Read Weinzheimer said. “Neither team wanted to show too many of their cards. But both teams wanted to be up for the next week.”
Patterson’s Nehemiah Shelton scored on a pair of 50-yard TD runs.
“(Shelton) must have busted at least three (defenders’) ankles on his way to the end zone,” Weinzheimer said.
Jaime Jimenez added a 64-yard touchdown run for Patterson, and Toby Silva tacked on a 4-yard TD scamper.
“The kids are peaking at the right time,” Weinzheimer said.
Patterson will continue its season at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, when the squad will again travel to face Manteca in the first round of the postseason.
Even after the clock ran out, Patterson refused to let time run out on its season.
The Ravens earned a TVYFL playoff berth with a 19-13 triple-overtime win over Manteca.
“It was a very exciting game to be a part of,” coach John Guevarra said. “The kids really dug down deep and played with heart.”
Elijah Lawson had a 60-yard interception return for the Ravens’ first points of the game. He ran another 65 yards for a touchdown before halftime to give Patterson a 13-7 lead.
But Manteca tied the score at 13 in the fourth quarter to force the game into overtime.
“I think that we needed to be challenged,” Guevarra said. “It helped the kids to really pull each other in and focus.”
In the third overtime period, Lawson put Patterson up for good with a 5-yard trot.
“After the defense held, everybody came running onto the field,” Guevarra said. “I was very proud of the effort.”
The Ravens will continue their season at 9 a.m. Saturday, when they will play against the Buffaloes in Manteca in the first round of playoffs.
Results for other Ravens teams were not submitted by press time.