Justin Incaprera broke free for a 65-yard touchdown run with just over 2 minutes left on the clock to lift the No. 8 seed Los Banos to a 38-31 win over No. 9 Orestimba on Friday night in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs at Loftin Stadium.
Incaprera finished with 136 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.
The game-winner came after Los Banos quarterback Dasani Tate had hit two first-down runs against the Warriors.
“We ran a couple read-options and Tate had a 15-yard run and a 12-yard run,” said Tigers coach Dustin Caropreso, whose team improved to 8-3 on the season. “I told our coach to run it again because their outside backer was squeezing on Dasani.”
As Incaprera took off down the sideline, the Tigers players and coaches went nuts.
“I don’t know how long the run was, but I know it was a long run because I was running with him,” Caropreso said. “We were going crazy.”
The Tigers travel to top seed Colfax next Friday for a quarterfinal matchup.
It took everything Los Banos had to make that happen. The Tigers had to overcome four touchdown passes from Warriors quarterback Jacob Bettencourt. He hooked up three times with Tyler Vargas on touchdown passes of 33, 23, and 14 yards.
Tate finished with 214 yards passing and two touchdowns for Los Banos. He connected on scoring throws with Landon Ramos and Bryant Camp. Ramos caught four balls for 115 yards.
Adrian Atangan finished with 13 tackles for LB. Izaiah Flores added nine tackles and a sack and Andrew Borrego collected eight tackles, one sack and a fumble recovery.
It was the second thrilling win in as many weeks after defeating Pacheco 28-21 to win a share of the Western Athletic Conference championship last week.
“I tell you what, these kids have put in work,” Caropreso said. “These kids don’t quit. They proved they’re a close-knit group that isn’t going to quit.”
Pacheco 34, Sierra 33 in Los Banos – Julian Moran scored four touchdowns to help the Panthers erase a 21-7 deficit in the first half.
The Panthers (9-2) avoided a scare late. After scoring to extend their lead to 34-21, Pacheco gave up a 65-yard kickoff return from Kimoni Stanley to cut the lead to 34-27 with 4:45 left.
After forcing a Pacheco punt, the Timberwolves drove down and Matt Dunham found Nyco Mendoza for a 17-yard touchdown pass with 1:20 left to pull Sierra within 34-33. The Timberwolves went for two points and the win, but Stanley was tackled short of the goal line by Matthew Buchanan.
“They lined up in their Wildcat formation and got the ball to (Stanley) on a direct snap,” Pacheco coach David Snapp said. “They tried to power it up the middle, but Matthew Buchanan came around the end and grabbed him by his waist. Our interior defense bowed up and stopped him.”
The win was the Panthers first football playoff win in school history. Pacheco will advance to a quarterfinal matchup with No. 1 seed Rio Linda next week.
Buhach Colony 28, Ponderosa 19 in Atwater – Joshua Goodman scored two touchdowns to help lead the No. 8 Thunder (9-2) to a win over No. 9 Bruins in the first round of the Division III. The win was the Thunder’s first postseason victory since 2012.
Goodman scored on runs of 6 and 58 yards.
Owen Thomas started the scoring for BC with a run of 55 yards that tied the score at 7-7 in the first quarter.
Buhach Colony quarterback Brandon Ruiz connected with Brendan Ekizian for a 56-yard touchdown that gave the Thunder a 28-13 lead in the fourth quarter.
Youlas Dickson came up with a couple key plays on defense with an interception and causing a fumble.
Buhach Colony will face No. 1 seed Capital Christian (10-0) in the quarterfinals next week.
Gustine 28, Millennium 27 in Gustine – The Reds came back from an early 14-0 deficit to squeak past the Falcons in the first round of the Division VII playoffs.
Brandon Garbez rushed for 160 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries for the Reds (6-5). George Meza added 33 rushing yards and two touchdowns for Gustine.
Daniel Quinn had nine tackles and one sack on defense for Gustine, which faces No. 1 seed Denair in the semifinals next week.
Millennium (5-6) scored a touchdown to pull within 28-27 with 1:47 left on the clock. The Falcons went for two, but failed.
Dos Palos 41, Bishop Union 6 in Bishop – The Central Section seeding committee misfired on this one.
The Broncos took a six-hour bus ride that traveled 232 miles one way and destroyed the No. 8 seed.
The No. 9 seed Dos Palos jumped out to a 41-0 lead. Ronald Johnson 124 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries for the Broncos (6-5).
Michael Merrill completed seven of eight passes for 186 and two touchdowns. He found Jared Jones for a 40-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter and later a 60-yard scoring strike to Dustin Elrod.
The Broncos (6-5) face top-seed Shafter next week.
Highland 39, Chowchilla 28 in Chowchilla – The No. 10 Scots made the 2-hour trip up from Bakersfield and rallied late to upset No. 7 Chowchilla.
Highland quarterback Nick Salas scored three touchdowns on the ground and connected on one through the air to lead the Scots to the victory.
The Tribe (7-4) loss despite having almost two rushers top 200 yards on the ground in the same game. Quarterback Cody Woolsey rushed for 223 yards and running back Jordan Hornbeak added 199 yards and four touchdowns.