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Fall Sports Wrap - Bruin Squads Slug Way Through September Schedule
Between a stellar win for the Riverbank High football program, more victories for volleyball players, soccer scores and narrow golf decisions; it has been an eventful September so far for Riverbank High fall athletes. Following is a summary of action on each field of play.


Delhi's infamous coxbox offense has given the Hawks football program quite a reputation over the years. Many teams struggle in the wake of a power run formation that often stacks all 11 players into awkward plays that spring from every crack in a condensed offensive line.

The Riverbank defense found a solution with a stout run defense on Friday as the Bruins played to a 28-7 victory on the road. The win avenged a 14-13 loss to Delhi that Riverbank suffered at home in 2011.

"Our defense pretty much won the game for us," Riverbank coach James Oliver said. "We ran the ball well and that helped."

Riverbank gave Delhi a short field twice, including an early mistake when the Bruins failed to control the ball on the opening kickoff. A defensive stand kept the Hawks out of the end zone and Riverbank responded with a 78-yard touchdown run from Gabe Manriquez (12 carries, 177 yards).

The lead quickly grew on the ensuing drive, when Fabian Arana intercepted a Delhi pass and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown. Delhi fired back when a botched Riverbank punt return gave the Hawks terrific field position, but Riverbank would shut out Delhi for the remainder of the game and score on quarterback runs from Angel Torres (51 passing yards, 21 rushing yards) in the second and fourth quarters.

The Bruins ended with 268 yards of offense to Delhi's 144. Manriquez (one catch, 24 yards) and Alfredo Capas (one catch, 27 yards) hauled in both Torres passes while Orlando Gutierrez (12 total tackles), Luis Solario (nine) and Anthony Gonzales (eight) led the Bruin defense. Antonio Perez pulled in an interception for the Bruins as well.

Riverbank has a tough test on Friday in a contest at Linden. The Lions (1-2) have staggering defeats to Ripon (47-7) and Escalon (34-10) on their schedule, but will be certainly battle tested and hungry for a victory against a Trans-Valley League program.

The Lions run a triple-option offense that has already offered plenty of success to senior runner Andrew Lewis (5 foot nine inches, 180 pounds). Lewis ran for over 1,000 yards in 2011 (6.9 yards a carry) as Linden rallied to a playoff appearance.

It's a serious test for a Riverbank program badly in need of validation against a fellow Division IV opponent. The Bruins are 5-2 against Division V and VI programs since the start of 2011, but haven't beaten a Division IV team across that same span.

"It's a good test for us to see how we compete against someone in our division," Oliver said. "We are taking this game very seriously.

"The big focus here is defensive consistency."


A 3-1 win over Division 1 Johansen on Sept. 5 kept Riverbank's unbeaten streak alive at nine straight, but the Lady Bruins battled to a 3-3 record against top tier postseason contenders in the Golden Valley Tournament on Sept. 7 and 8 to bring the streak to a halt.

The Bruins were without three middle hitters, including injured standout Kendra Garcia, who badly sprained her ankle during a 3-2 comeback win over Linden on Aug. 30.

Despite depth missing at the net, Riverbank only slipped to Chowchilla (26-7, Central Section D-IV playoff semifinalists in 2011), Enochs (23-12-1, Sac-Joaquin Section D-I playoff quarterfinalists in 2011) and Escalon (24-7, SJS D-IV semifinalists in 2011) during tourney action.

The Bruins bested Waterford, Everett Alvarez of Salinas and Lathrop to finish with an even stanza.

"It was pretty good, considering all three of my middles were gone," Riverbank coach Lisa Mila said. "We did have Choe Arnold come to the middle from outside and she did a very good job. Brittany Cody also stepped it up on the outside and Kaitlin Jimenez played the other middle to cover any tips."

Riverbank opens conference play with visiting Escalon on Thursday.

Boys Soccer

A tough early preseason did its job to prepare Riverbank for tough matchups ahead, as the Bruins rallied to a 3-1-1 stanza since Aug. 28. The success started with a 3-1 win over Sonora after scores from Oscar Jimenez (two) and Rodrigo Quintero.

A day later on Aug. 29, Jonathan Rodriguez blasted a three-score hat trick past Denair as Riverbank rolled to a 7-0 win. Kenny Veliz, Jimenez, Noel Garcia and Eduardo Martinez also scored in the win.

Rodriguez and Jesus Yepez both scored unanswered goals in the second half, but Riverbank couldn't avoid a 2-2 deadlock with Johansen on Aug. 31.

The team struggled against Western Athletic Conference favorite, Central Valley, on Sept. 1, ultimately slipping 3-0 despite 10 saves from Martin Pantoja.

The Bruins hosted Escalon on Monday to start Trans-Valley League play, though results were not available at press time. The team is at Orestimba today, Sept. 12.


Close scores went against the Lady Bruins in recent competition. After opening the year with a 145-175 loss to reigning champs, Escalon (Aug. 28), Riverbank went on to slip just 189-191 to Ripon Christian two days later, despite medalist honor awarded to Emily Blevins (42 strokes). Tori Sandoval (43), Yolanda Sandoval (53) and Gabriela Macedo (53) also turned in solid scores.

The Bruins fell 245-248 to Calaveras on Sept. 4. Riverbank was at Ripon on Tuesday, though results were not available at press time. The Bruins host Linden on Sept. 13.