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Bruins Battle In One-Score Homecoming Defeat
Twice Riverbank High's varsity football team drove inside Orestimba's 30-yard line during the final two quarters, but the Warriors kept Riverbank out of the end zone and stole a 21-14 victory during Bruin Homecoming.

The one-score loss dropped Riverbank to a 3-4 record on the year, but was a nice change of pace after blowout losses to Modesto Christian and Escalon in consecutive weeks to open Trans-Valley League play.

"In my opinion, the kids showed a lot of character to come back and play as hard as they did after the last two weeks," Riverbank coach James Oliver said. "It was a big step for our program, despite the outcome of the game."

Orestimba (5-2) entered the contest on the momentum of a 3-1 preseason and impressive 35-14 win over Hughson (3-3) to start their own TVL campaign.

The Warriors were deadlocked with Riverbank 14-14 at the half, but scored on a third quarter run to take the lead for good. The Bruins answered with drives deep into Orestimba territory, but couldn't convert fourth-down plays and saw bad snaps spell trouble.

The Bruins still rolled to 223 rushing yards, most coming from quarterback Alex Reynaga, who broke free for 126 yards on 18 carries. Angel Torres had a nice performance during his first game back from ineligibility with 12 carries for 58 yards and a touchdown.

Chad Oliver scored on a one-yard dive as well.

"This week we really committed to running the ball," coach Oliver said. "Orestimba was committed to stopping our sweeps so we were able to have some success running the ball inside."

Joaquin Felix (10 tackles) and Christian Torres (seven tackles) made big stops for the Bruin defense. Reynaga had nine tackles on defense as well.

Oliver credited his team's offensive success to the vision of assistant coach Merle Richison, who eyeballed Orestimba's defensive formations from the press box and found holes for Riverbank runners.

The Bruins will face the toughest opponent left on their TVL schedule during Friday's showdown at Hilmar (6-1). The Yellowjackets have won six straight, including a 59-20 rout of host Modesto Christian last week. Hilmar scored 31 second-quarter points and amassed nearly 500 yards of offense.

"We just have to go out there and put ourselves in the best position to be successful," coach Oliver said. "I thought we played hard and showed a lot of courage last week."