Los Banos High's football team sold out to stop the run against Manteca on Friday night, and Buffaloes quarterback Joe Menzel made the Tigers pay for it in a 42-7 Manteca victory.
Manzel completed 16 of 21 passes for 179 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
"They did everything they could to stop our inside running game," Manteca coach Eric Reis said. "They were stunting, blitzing, this and that, so fortunately for us, OK, plan B, we're going to throw it. You play that aggressively to stop the run, we'll throw on you."
But the key play came on special teams — a dropped punt on the Los Banos 5-yard line which gave Manteca a 14-0 lead in the second quarter.
Los Banos fought back, faking a punt and instead snapping the ball to Darren Baty, who ran for 29 yards and a first down.
Running back David Walker broke away for a 44-yard touchdown on the next play, starting to the left, then reversed to the right when that was blocked off.
The 6-foot-3, 193-pound sophomore charged through a pair of would-be tacklers around 10-yard line and stumbled into the end zone.
The play fired up the Los Banos players, but that intensity fell off when they weren't able to stop the balanced Manteca offense.
Menzel spread the ball to eight receivers, hitting upback Jacob DeLeon six times for 71 yards and tight end Michael Hatfield four times for 64 yards. Walker's touchdown, meanwhile, was the only big Los Banos play of the night.
"We couldn't weather the storm," Los Banos coach Dustin Caropreso said. "We get the stop we need, it's a 14-7 ballgame, and we muff a punt at the 5, they score three plays later and it's 20-7, and that momentum we had just goes. It's tough to come back from. We're a young team."
Los Banos defensive end Jerome Vander Poel played one series after pulling his hamstring during warmups, and stayed on the bench the rest of the game. Walker, meanwhile, left the game at the end of the third quarter with a knee injury, though he said he expects to be back quickly.
"Offensively Vander Poel's in a bunch of different packages. Defensively, he's playing defensive end for us," Caropreso said. "It's just, stuff changes, so we've just got to iron some stuff out.
"We knew it was going to be tough. I mean, hell, that's a good football team. That's a team you're going to see probably win the VOL. I think they have a good chance. That's just me talking, I'm not the prognosticator."