Bigger, faster, stronger are some of the ways you can describe the 44-17 rout suffered at the hands of the Buffaloes. The Tigers started strong, showing Manteca they were in for fight striking first scoring on a 28-yard field goal from Johan Mendoza, to give them an early 3-0 lead. For Patterson that’s the only lead they would see the rest of the way.
The Buffaloes would take control of the game swiftly by answering Patterson’s field goal with scoring 24 unanswered, starting with a 64-yard swing pass from Garrison Reis to Blake Nichelson.
“Big plays early. They had a couple of one play drives that dug us a real big hole. We were only down 30-17 at halftime with those big plays, hung with them as long as we could, and this is an established program. There (the lost) nothing to hang our heads about, it’s only going to make us better,” said head coach Rob Cozart.
Patterson would slow down the herd with a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Jacob Guevarra to Javier Huizar and Leo Refil. But too much too early aided the deficit at halftime and it would be the closest the Tigers were able to trim the lead and the Buffaloes as they would close the game with two second half touchdowns resulting in the final score.
“I think them [the team] understanding that they can hang with Manteca upfront [along the offensive and defensive line]. Now our players can use this game as measuring stick for their other opponents [comparing size and speed]. There were times we got wore down, but they realize that, and it gives them more motivation going into next week. Even from a loss of this magnitude, there’s a silver lining” said Cozart.
The Tigers were shutout in the second half (lowest second half total since 2017 SJS playoff game against Oakdale) and now they have their two toughest games behind them, leaving a lot of optimism for the upcoming stretch of games.