Sierra is a relative pup compared to some of its VOL rivals, having opened in 1994. But it's already earned a reputation as the most difficult foe on everyone's schedule. Coach Jeff Harbison's high-octane spread never huddles and his eye for talent gives the Timberwolves big-play threats at every skill position. It can be a fascinating offense as it works its way downfield, a blur of runs mixed with short tosses. Harbison has a new QB to run it this year Guillermo Nunez, the point guard who led the basketball team into the section finals last year. He's a threat to run.
Manteca has been among the section's elite programs since the millennium, and the Buffaloes won three titles during a six-year span from 2001-06. The Buffs were 12-2 in the playoffs in those six years, but they have struggled to maintain that level of excellence these last few years. Three consecutive first-round exits pushed the Buffs to get more physical up front. Coach Eric Reis thinks he has two of the region's top linemen in 6-foot, 280-pound Issac McClain and 6-1, 280-pound Bill Sharmoug. Daniel Clark (5-11, 230) will flank one of the 280-pounders, giving the Buffs plenty of beef for Eddie Smith to run behind.