Los Banos rides 2-0 record into Manteca showdown

dwitte@losbanosenterprise.comSeptember 13, 2013 

Los Banos High football trailed Roosevelt 21-13 at halftime of Friday’s game in Fresno before roaring back to win 47-21.

The win gave the Tigers a 2-0 record heading into tonight’s home game against Manteca, which is 1-1 after a 28-27 overtime loss to Wilcox-Santa Clara.

“We moved the football. We drove it down the field and missed two field goals, then we scored a touchdown,” Los Banos coach Dustin Caropreso said about the Roosevelt game. “We didn’t take advantage of what we needed to do. We made a couple of stops, then the offense wouldn’t take advantage and get points. In the second half we made some changes.”

The Los Banos defense held Roosevelt’s up-tempo spread offense in check for the most part, with Ryan Selfridge making a team-high 9 tackles (2 for a loss) and a sack.

“It was a coverage sack. They’re running four or five receivers out there at a time. (Selfridge) is starting to get in that place where he’s going to be near the ball,” Caropreso said. “Defensively, the coaches put in a good plan. If the kids do what they’re supposed to do, with the defensive plan, they’re going to put them in the right positions.”

But the main pressure facing that spread attack fell on the secondary, which Caropreso said responded well.

“We had a couple of broken coverages, and that’s going to happen sometimes over the course of a game, but mentally, and condition-wise we’re where we need to be. I think you could see the difference between the teams’ conditioning.”

Against Manteca, the story will be completely different. The Buffaloes look much more like Los Banos, with a power run game.

“They’ll line up with two backs, a power-I. They’ll try to run the football, and they’ll throw when they need to,” Caropreso said. “They’re not asking their quarterback to throw 20 or 30 times a game, they’re going to maintain drives and pound the football. They’re going to try to establish the run like we’ll try to.”

A year ago, the Tigers defeated Manteca 42-28 in a game that was tied 21-21 at halftime. Running back James Sams finished the night with 354 rushing yards. This year, the game will be LB running back David Walker’s third varsity start, although the sophomore did break out for 265 yards against Roosevelt.

“I imagine they’ve got some wrinkles up their sleeve. We’ll have our work cut out,” Caropreso said. “The guys are looking for 3-0. The confidence is there. My job is to keep them at that confidence level, not too confident. You get too confident, and you’ll get slapped down to reality.”

Alumni report

Speaking of Sams, the Modesto Junior College freshman started the season with 61 yards on 13 carries as the Pirates defeated Merced 46-13. Former LB tight end Markus Rico spent the game as MJC’s long snapper.

Gustine drops to 0-2

The Redskins followed up its 36-0 opening loss to Linden with a 34-12 loss to Bret Harte on Friday. Isaiah Figueroa scored both of Gustine’s touchdowns and finished with 86 rushing yards and 118 passing yards. Gustine takes on rival Orestimba, also 0-2, on Sept. 20 in Newman.

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