Noah’s Spring Water Team of the Week

Black Hat Football has a Tip of the Hat to Varni Brothers Corp. and Noah’s Spring Water, key partners in our comprehensive coverage of high school football in The 209.

Each week, Black Hat visits a high school to deliver a bounty of Noah’s refreshing spring water. We know high school teams receiving the five hefty cases of Noah’s Spring Water — packed in 24-ounce, resealable cans — appreciate the timely delivery, as well.


Noah’s Spring Water Team of the Week: Gregori’s Jaguars taking perfect record into Friday’s MMC opener


Video/Noah’s Spring Water Team of the Week: Edison’s Vikings are the most explosive team in The 209


Video/Noah’s Spring Water Team of the Week: East Union Running Game Built on Strong Offensive Line


Video/Noah’s Spring Water Team of the Week: Ceres’ Bulldogs Got A Mean Bite To Go With That Bark


Video/Noah’s Spring Water Team of the Week: Turlock’s Bulldogs beat rival Pitman. then open playoffs with win

Noah’s Spring Water Team of Week 9: Orestimba’s resilient Warrior’s clinch 2nd straight Southern League title

Video/Noah’s Spring Water Team of the Week: Downey’s program has become a winner on and off the field

Noah’s Spring Water Team of the Week: Oakdale’s Wing-T gearing up for another late-season run

Noah’s Spring Water Team of the Week: Denair’s Coyotes enjoying resurgent season under Coach Anthony Armas

Video/Noah’s Spring Water Team of the Week: Hot start could produce 1st league title & school records

Video/Noah’s Spring Water Team of the Week: East Union’s Lancers 4-0 heading into VOL showdown with Sierra

Noah’s Water Team of the Week: Weston Ranch’s Cougars are winners on the field … and off the field


Noah’s Spring Water Team of the Week: Transitioning the offense could produce another playoff run

Noah’s Spring Water Team of the Week: Manteca overwhelms Sacramento QB heading to Ball State

Noah’s Spring Water Team of Week: Waterford’s Wildcats dominate in opener behind Mike Vivo’s 4 TDs


WEEK 10: Sierra High Timberwolves (Manteca)

The Timberwolves went into the final week of the regular season with a slim shot at the Section playoffs: Not only did the Timberwolves need to beat Weston Ranch – a team that also needed to win to earn a playoff berth – but they needed a number of other team to fall victim to the upset bug, as well.

Though Sierra finished at 5-5, it was one of three .500 teams to earn at-large berths bases on their opponents’ wins. The theory is that the teams with the more difficult schedules will benefit from that tiebreaker. Playing in the VOL with 10-0 Central Catholic, 9-1 Oakdale and 8-2 Manteca certainly helped push up the ‘Wolves total of opponent wins.

RB Mark Paule ran for 146 yards and a TD on 16 carries, pushing his season total t0 1,020 yards and 10 touchdowns.


WEEK NINE: Central Valley Hawks

In desperate need of a victory to secure a playoff berth, the Hawks and Moses Ghiorso ran past Los Banos to clinch a postseason berth. Ghiorso had 12 touches for 243 (10 carries, 224 yards) and 5 TDs, as the Hawks led 28-7 at halftime.

Jamarea Lumpkin added another 99 yards offense (14 carries, 94 yards) and scored the Hawks’ sixth TD, while Central Valley’s defense limited Los Banos to 201 yards. Sophomore Estevan Barragan deflected two passes and was in on 16 tackles, while Adrian Badillo got it on 12 tackles.

WEEK EIGHT: Turlock High Bulldogs

Coach James Peterson knew he needed a quarterback if his Bulldogs were going to challenge for the Central California Conference this fall. It was a significant decision for both Peterson and the Bulldogs, because Turlock has not won a Central California Conference title since 2000.

Turlock hasn’t won a playoff game since 2003 – so this is a huge season for the ‘Dogs.

The decision to put Peyton Dunseth began with a busy 7-on-7 schedule, and he’s rewarded the confidence of Peterson and his teammates by leading the Bulldogs to a 6-1 record – and a spot in Friday night’s CCC championship game on the road against Merced at Golden Valley High.

Turlock’s lone loss was second second of the season to Oakdale – 8-0 and one of the state’s elite Division 3 teams – and the Bulldogs have won five in a row since that road loss. Dunseth had provided the balance in the backfield, completing 64 percent of his passes for 772 yards and 9 TDs (with 5 interceptions) and running for 476 yards and 9 more TDs, while burly Mustafa Noel-Johnson (8 sacks; 22 solo tackles, 30 assists) has been a disruptor on defense.

Turlock has assured itself a Division 1 playoff berth, but these next two weeks will determine if the Bulldogs will enter as a league champion with a home opener – or as a lower seed forced to pay on the road. The D1 bracket will be loaded, with a handful of powerful D2 teams promoted to the larger division after winning their D1 leagues, so the Dogs must win the next 2 weeks.

Turlock hosts Pitman in their annual Harvest Bowl in Week 10.

WEEK SEVEN: Stagg High Delta King (Stockton)

One month into the season, Stagg High coach Don Norton realized his Delta Kings needed a confidence boost. It came, surprisingly, during the team’s fourth loss – a decision that left a struggling Stagg squad 1-4 going into the San Joaquin Athletic Association. That 49-46 loss to McClymonds of Oakland (now 7-0) laid the foundation or the second half of the season.

“That McClymonds game showed the kids we could play with anyone,” said Norton, whose Delta Kings (3-4 overall, 2-0 in the SJAA) also lost early to Foothill of Pleasanton (now 8-0). We have the offense, we just need a couple of stops a game from the defense.”

Stagg followed up that McClymonds loss with two impressive wins, 58-0 over crosstown rival Edison and last week’s 56-50 stunner over McNair – which was 5-1. The Delta Kings were fueled by QB Lavante Bushnell (18 of 36 for 223 yards, with 7 TDs and no INTs), and four of those TDs went to 6-foot-4 Michael Thompson – one of our Taco Bell Athletes of the Week.

Stagg also had two 100-yard runners against McNair, with Bushnell (14 carries, 118 yards, TD) and Eric Kranh (8 for 102 yards) led a rushing attak that piled up 334 yards – averaging 8.6 yards a carry.

WEEK SIX: Hughson High Huskies

The Huskies validated that unbeaten record they possess by knocking off one of the state’s elite small-school programs, handing Escalon a 28-14 loss in Friday’s (Oct. 9) behind a ferocious running attack of Cesar Cuevas and Justice Futch. The two combined for three TDs and more than 300 yards rushing as the Huskies beat Eacalon for the first time in 15 years.

The unbeaten Huskies have shut out three of their six opponents, and they go on the road Friday to Modesto Christian in a Trans-Valley League battle. Cuevas (750 yards, 12 TDs) and Futch (640 yards, 6 TDs) have powered the offense to six straight wins, and have the Huskies averaging 37 points a game.

Futch also leads the defense in tackles, and he’s a big part of the reason the Huskies are giving up just 9 points a game. The Huskies have 22 sacks, including 4.5 by Richard Herrera, and would by a Division 5 team for the playoffs – and another team in their bracket would be defending champion Bear River.

WEEK FIVE: Modesto High Panthers

Modesto High’s Most Valuable Player, its top four rushers, and four of its top five receivers graduated last spring. It also lost many of its best defensive players … then the Panthers’ coach resigned just weeks before the 2015 season to tend to his ailing mother in Michigan.

The Panthers have out those substantial issues aside this season, however, and have become the team to beat in the Modesto Metro Conference. They earned that title with a 42-34 upset of three-time defending MMC champ Downey, exploiting their run game (37 carries, 250 yards, 6.8-yard average, 4 TDs), two fumbles recoveries and a blocked punt returned for a TD.

Markus Brady’s 80-yard TD run and Alejandro Salcedo’s return of the bocked punt got the Panthers out to a 14-0 first-quarter lead that they never relinquished. Downey got within 35-34 late in the game, but no closer.

Coach Donnie Wallace had previously been the boys’ basketball team and remains the athletic director, while taking on the varsity job this season. His Panthers are 4-2 (losses to 3-1 Turlock and 5-0 Patterson) and have a bye this week, then they close out the regular season with games against Gregori, Enochs, Beyer and Davis – who are a combined 8-18 this season.

WEEK FOUR: McNair High Eagles (Stockton)

The Eagles are one of the most entertaining programs in The 209, with their spread offense, QB Osai Brown and a flock of talented receivers. Derrion Grim leads the nation with his 18 TDs, and he had nine catches for 189 yards and three TDs in Friday’s 40-27 win over Tokay of Lodi.

It was the Eagles’ third win in a row, following a 61-50 loss to 4-1 Downey in Week 1, and QB Osai Brown was 16 of 26 for 263 and four TDs – without a pick. He now has 1,799 yards and 24 TDs, number that rank him among the most prolific in California.

McNair raced to a 19-7 lead after a quarter, after 3 TD pass to Grim, but Tokay rallied ahead 21-19 in the second half. Noah Faatau’s 11-yard return of a fumble and Brown’s 17-yard tsrike to Dean Hamilton to put the Eagles up 34-21. Jordan Threats provided a distraction with the run game, carrying 16 times for 88 yards and a TD.

It has the Eagles feeling good as they head into a bye this week. They open the San Joaquin Athletic Association schedule on Oct. 9 by hosting the Frankling Yellowjackets.

WEEK THREE: Escalon High Cougars

It’s a rare opportunity when a high school football team gets to play twice in the same week – and you can only imagine the satisfaction that comes from winning both. Escalon’s Cougars enjoyed both last week, beating Bret Harte (Angels Camp) 63-21 on Monday and then toppling Liberty Ranch (Galt) 35-14 four days later on Friday night.

The Bret Harte was pushed back three days by the Butte Fire, which was ravaging Calaveras County, and coach Mark Loureiro was able to use his bench liberally in that game. That game also provided a glimpse into one of the Cougars’ potential stars for 2016 – speedy junior RB C.J. Gumbs had a TD run and returned a kick for another touchdowns and was our Prime Shine Car Wash Player of the Game for his performance.

A few nights later, senior RB Hunter Calton turned a mere 14 carries into a career-high 279 yards and three scores to beat Liberty Ranch. The Cougars ran the ball 51 times for 428 yards and all five scores – and a total of 94 times741 yards and 12 TDs in those two games.

Dakota Saing and Logan Widmer combined to get in on 16 tackles vs. Liberty Ranch.

For a look at the dynasty that Loueiro has built in this small San Joaquin County town, check out this tribute piece by CalHiSports .

WEEK TWO: Lathrop High Spartans

The wins have been difficult to come by since Lathrop High played its first varsity football game in 2009, with the Spartans securing a total of seven victories in their first six seasons.

The Spartans have put those unpleasant memories behind them to start the 2015 football season, however.

With quarterback Diego Chavez tossing two touchdown passes, after scoring his team’s first TD of the night on a fumble recovery, Lathrop (2-1) stunned Ripon 24-13 on Friday night (Sept. 11). It was the Spartans’ second win in a row and ties the school record for most wins a season.

Chavez threw TDs to Cameron Corner and Isaiah Hunter, and the Spartans’ defense held a potent offense in check. Ripon has a win over Sierra of Manteca, a Valley Oak League rival that Lathrop will face later this season, so the Spartans are optimistic as they go forward.

After dropping the opener 12-7 to West, Lathrop bounced back to beat Liberty Ranch 20-14 in Week 1. In that victory, Chavez also threw two TDs and Rob Luckett secured the win by intercepting a pass near his end zone and returning it 75 yards in the final two minutes.

This is also the first season for coach Joe Pirillo, a Manteca High graduate, and his team opens Valley Oak League play Sept. 25 vs. East Union of Manteca.

WEEK ONE: St. Mary’s of Stockton Rams

St. Mary’s High of Stockton survived a last-minute threat to hold off fellow parochial school-power Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa 35-34 in the Week 1 season opener for both teams.

Cardinal Newman scored and went for the go-ahead 2-point conversion in the final minute, but the Rams turned back the play and then ran out the clock to preserve the victory. The host Cardinals had scored early, but St. Mary’s quarterback Jake Dunniway – making his starting debut – quickly found Keaton Hampton on a short TD toss to tie it in the second quarter.

Rams’ running back Brandon Zaunbrecher scored three TDs, though St. Mary’s found itself in a fight with the Cardinals throughout the game. The victory keeps the Rams atop Black Hat Football’s rankings for The 209, and sets up a battle with second-ranked Central Catholic of Modesto.

The teams meet this Friday (September 11) at 7:15 p.m. at St. Mary’s — so we thought it would be a fun time to roll out the video highlights from last year’s Holy Bowl. The Rams won that game on QB Noah Righetti’s late rollout for a touchdown.


WEEK ZERO: Ripon High Indians

The small-school Indians dropped a Goliath when it stunned fourth-ranked Sierra High of Manteca 34-20 on opening night of the high school football season in The 209. Ripon is coming off a 3-7 season, while Sierra is the defending Valley Oak League champion.

Third-year QB Nick Price (6×12, 88 yards) directed on offense that piled up 398 yards, while averaging 10 yards per carry. Senior Jacob Duxbury had 178 yards total offense and two TDs, and Anthony Baciocco returned an interception for a critical touchdown.