Orestimba star running back Steven Machado, who had strained his left hamstring a little more than a month prior to the start of the 2013 season, reinjured the muscle Friday night during pregame warmups and sat out the season opener against Le Grand.
It is unclear how much time the senior tailback will miss.
“I was going through some warmups before the game and I felt a sudden pull,” said the 5-foot-7, 175-pound Machado, who will undergo an MRI later in the week. “I’ll be back. I’ve been looking forward to this season — my senior season — since I was a little kid.”
The injuries didn’t end there, unfortunately. Machado’s backup, Steven Price, sprained his left ankle in the game and quarterback Tanner Pruett separated his non-throwing shoulder.
“It’s really a sad situation,” said Orestimba coach Aaron Souza. “But it’s part of this game and it’s part of life. We have to deal wit it and move forward. We’ll find out about our team’s character amidst all the adversity.”
Machado, who rushed for 1,927 yards last season, has a chance to break the Stanislaus District’s career rushing mark of 5,140, set by Central Catholic’s Louis Bland (2004-07). Machado needs 1,921 yards to break the record. Missing any significant chunk of the season would put an end to that chase.
“We saw him on the sidelines with his pads on, so we thought he might come back in,” said Le Grand coach Rick Martinez, who had heard whispers during the week leading up to the game that Machado might be less than 100 percent. “We didn’t know the degree of the injury.
“We thought they might put him in after we got some momentum. When they didn’t, we put two and two together.”
The potential showdown Friday between Machado and Le Grand’s Ryan Martinez never materialized.
Martinez, who rushed for 1,794 yards and 19 TDs as a junior, was cleared to play about 24 hours before kickoff after suffering a slight tear to the meniscus in his right knee nearly three weeks earlier. However, Rick Martinez chose to limit his son’s action. Martinez played just five snaps on specialty defensive packages. Still, he delivered an 88-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Eduardo Bedolla added a 42-yard fumble recovery for a TD.
Le Grand rolled to a 50-6 victory as Christian Williams had touchdown runs of 10, 60, 60 and 10 yards. He finished with 204 yards.
MANTECA 47, CENTRAL VALLEY 20,
CERES — Alex Laurel had an only-in-your-dreams start to the 2013 season, scoring touchdowns the first three times he touched the ball, then added a fourth TD a few plays later.
Laurel — a 5-foot-9, 165-pound running back — took the game’s opening kickoff 92 yards for a TD. Then, when Central Valley’s first drive stalled, Laurel took the ensuing punt 48 yards to the house, followed by a 57-yard punt return. Then, on his sixth touch of the evening, he raced 44 yards for his first rushing TD of the season. He finished with seven carries for 82 yards on the ground and 307 all-purpose yards.
“I could never have imagined I’d have a start to the season like this,” said Laurel, who has been clocked in the 40-yard dash at 4.56 seconds. “I felt so blessed after the game.”
Laurel, who played last season at less than 150 pounds, has added 15 pounds of muscle since last season.
“He’s kind of changed his body from last season,” said Buffaloes coach Eric Reis. “He’s really worked hard. We saw glimpses last year of what he’d be capable of as a senior.”
CENTRAL CATHOLIC 49, PLACER 13
PLACER — Central Catholic began defense of its state championship with an impressive 49-13 victory over powerful Placer. Matt Ringer scored four touchdowns — on runs of 6, 13, 13 and 45 yards.
“I’m very pleased,” said Central Catholic coach Roger Canepa. “We had to travel two and a half hours and we beat a very good Placer team. It’s only one win, but it’s a big win.”
The Raiders will be on the road again next week, albeit only about 30 miles, when they take on St. Mary’s in what’s commonly referred to as “The Holy Bowl.”
St. Mary’s was a 34-27 winner over Stockdale on Friday.
DAVIS 26, EAST UNION 13
MANTECA — Spartans quarterback Zach Magaña completed 16 of 24 passes for 329 yards and three touchdowns, and ran the ball 10 times for 46 yards and TD, accounting for all of Davis’ scores.
Receiver Preston Peacock had five receptions for 157 yards; McKylby Kao caught five passes for 82 yards and 30-yard score; and Monte Jones had three catches for 73 yards and TDs of 25 and 35 yards.
Strong safety Teddy Wesley had 10 tackles and a forced fumble.
RIVERBANK 27, WATERFORD 15
WATERFORD — After being down 9-8 at halftime, the Bruins rallied for the victory.
Wide receiver Dominic Jack scored three touchdowns — one rushing, one receiving and one on a kickoff return. For the juniors on the team, it was their first win as high school players.
HILMAR 43, LIVINGSTON 7
HILMAR — Jonathon O'Brien threw four touchdown passes as Hilmar opened the season with a victory.
O'Brien connected with Breck Smith on a 50-yard play for a 6-0 lead in the first quarter, then threw scoring strikes to Dominic Salado (28 yards) and Tyler Robinson (18 and 3 yards).
O'Brien connected on 8 fo 17 passes for 113 yards and Robinson had six catches for 88 yards.
FRANKLIN (Elk Grove) 28, ATWATER 12
ELK GROVE — Ronald Evans took a kickoff to the house and Scotty Clements caught a fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Nate Duran, but the Falcons (0-1) could never seem to get a lead.
An interception return for a touchdown in the final minute sealed the victory for Franklin.
PACHECO 16, SELMA 13
After struggling with consistency for much of the evening, the Pacheco offense turned it on when the team needed it the most.
Juwan Epperson connected with Maurice Harden for a 20-yard touchdown pass with 1:24 left to play, capping an 80-yard drive as the Panthers pulled out a tough road win.