When the Sac-Joaquin Section changed its playoff format, making overall wins a criteria for deciding which teams move on, it also abolished ties. That was a few years ago, and you would think that would be enough time for word to reach the most remote corners of the section. Boy, are we wrong.
Turns out a group of guys attending Friday's game in Newman were oblivious to the rule. Sounds innocent enough, until I tell you these guys made up the officiating crew!
Orestimba and Mariposa finished regulation tied at 14 and an official jogged past Orestimba coach Aaron Souza and said "Nice game, coach."
Souza, already preparing for OT, was stunned. About this time, he saw Mariposa coach Bob Kelly dashing toward him -- a moment after being told there would be no OT.
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Not one official in the crew knew the rule? After both coaches insisted they had to play OT -- it's not an option, it's a requirement under section rules -- the officials relented and agreed to allow two OT periods.
Neither team scored in their four plays from the 10, and it ended 14-all when the officials quit. That's right, they quit, with one of them telling Souza that "We want to go home."
Section officials got involved Saturday and said the teams can finish the game, picking up with the third OT period. Souza and Kelly hope to play at a neutral site on Tuesday -- though both need an OK from the principals to cover the travel costs.
MANTECA'S MAGIC -- Matt Burrows looks more like a linebacker than a quarterback at 6-foot-1, 230 pounds, but the senior clearly has the skills to lead Manteca's offense.
After trailing much of the game, Burrows and the Buffs completed a stirring comeback when he tossed a 26-yard TD pass to Eric Ceja on the final play to surprise Tracy 47-42.
The key to the play was that Burrows' offensive line gave him plenty of time to look at his array of receivers, before finding Ceja. His target certainly surprised Tracy: Ceja didn't have a catch before Friday.
IT'S OK TO BRAGG -- Bret Harte QB Robbie Bragg, a three-year starter, completed 13 of 20 for 174 yards and two TDs in a 41-17 win over Denair. It made the Bullfrogs 2-0, a heady start for a program that averaged 2.8 wins a year the last decade.
Adding to the excitement was the news that Bragg had set the school career passing record with 2,930. His two TD throws in the second quarter gave the Frogs a 28-7 lead.
LAST-SECOND HEROICS -- Livingston needed a last-second, 28-yard TD pass from Brian Alvarez to halfback Jasdeep Danhota for a 32-28 win over Le Grand. Of course, game-winning rallies are common for the up-and-coming Wolves.
A week ago, Alvarez's 4-yard TD run lifted them to a 22-19 win over Modesto Christian. This time Alvarez used his arm to produce the victory, though he had put his fast feet to work earlier when he scored on a 50-yard scramble that made it 28-26.
The rally overshadowed a remarkable performance by the Division 6 Bulldogs, who got a Herculean effort from Daniel Guizar with career highs of 27 carries and 249 yards.
A HOLY MISMATCH -- It didn't take long to see St. Mary's and Central Catholic are operating on different levels this season: The visiting Rams struck for 20 points in the first quarter of the Holy Bowl.
Central Catholic, its small roster thinned by injuries, might have found some good news in defeat with the play of junior quarterback Chris Sauls. After playing just a series in the opener to Cardinal Newman, Sauls was 9-of-23 for 200 yards and two TDs -- both to Jack Killian.
Pass coverage was a weakness in the Raiders' opener, and St. Mary's Mitch Walding clearly saw the holes while watching the film last week: He was 20-of-24 for 359 yards.
A NUMBERS GAME -- Just three games into the season, Downey has as many wins as it did all last year after beating Ceres 22-8. It's the second week in a row that the defense, which gave up 49 points a game last season, allowed only one score.
PATTERSON LOOKS READY -- After struggling the previous week in a loss to Granada, Patterson had no such troubles during its 56-0 rout of Hughson. That's good news for the Tigers, who visit Escalon in Week 4 to renew their emotional rivalry.
JUST KEEP THROWIN' -- Summerville's Zach Roberson and his Bears aren't going to duplicate last year's amazing season -- 10-2 record, first-ever playoff berth, Mother Lode title -- but they should have plenty of fun regardless of how they end up. With a thin defense, the Bears are going to be allowing points. That's a positive if you like to watch the talented Roberson work -- he threw for 2,893 yards and 37 TDs last year.
With his team down much of the night, he was 20-of-40 for 314 yards and a TD. That gives him 551 yards and three TDs, and he's in the valley Friday to play against Denair.
CATS KEEP CLAWIN' -- Three games into the Todd Sevick era and Waterford has yet to lose, though it got a scare before escaping with a 27-12 win over Big Valley after the Lions scored on the game's opening drive.
After being a pass-crazed bunch a year ago, the Cats are now running behind sophomore Dylan Gonzalez (48 carries, 318 yards, three TDs) in his first three varsity appearances.
The opportunistic Wildcats took advantage of two poor snaps in the second quarter, taking over on Big Valley's 35 and 34. They scored TDs following each of the mistakes, and a defense led by Phillip Tubera (10 tackles) and Nate Canto (eight tackles, sack) took over from there.