Inderkum Advances To 2nd Round Playoffs

Tigers To Play Sierra in Manteca

No. 4 senior running back Josh Montes, 67 rushing yards, and No. 12 quarterback
C.J. Spencer led the Tigers to a 30-21 first round victory over Manteca.

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

With just 29.5 seconds left in the first half, the Inderkum Tigers offense found a spark and took control en route to a 30-21 victory in the first round of the SacJoaquin Section Division III playoffs against Manteca Friday night.

Trailing 14-12 and getting a clutch defensive stop after Manteca used their over-sized offensive line and running back Eddie Smith, the Inderkum forced a fumble on fourth down as the Buffaloes turned the ball over on downs deep in Tigers territory.

Instead of running out the clock, pinned at their own 23yard line, Inderkum head coach Terry Stark had his quarterback let one fly. C.J. Spencer found fellow junior Khalil Hudson for a 77-yard strike to get the Tigers into the red zone with just eight seconds to play in the half.

“That was huge. That fade has been big for us,” Stark said. “It’s been a big play right before (halftime) in my career. Why not go for it? We had max protection and throw it up there and take a shot. Most teams don’t. But (Hudson) got open and made the catch. Boy, that was huge for us. That is a momentum changer.”

Two plays later Spencer (8-12 213 yards, 3 TD) found Josh Montes for a four-yard touchdown pass, giving the No. 6 seed Tigers (9-2 overall) the first lead of the game at 20-14 going into halftime.

Said Hudson of his lone catch of the night, “I sat out the whole series before that, so I was cold and I was shaking, but I wanted to get in and make a play.”

Despite giving up more than 50 pounds a player up front to a huge Manteca offensive line, the Tigers were able to control the ball in the second half after the Buffaloes ran the ball over 25 times for more than 100 yards in the first half and two scores.

The lone second half touchdown for Manteca came with 10:51 left to play.

Senior fullback Brandon Powell, who has been injured most of the season with an injury, led the Tigers with 89 yards rushing on six carries, all in the second half, as the Tigers controlled the ball and the clock late in the game.

“It’s just a blessing to be able to have these extra games and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but here — with my family,” Powell said.

The defense in the second half also slowed the Manteca run game.

“It was just making adjustments. We have great eyes on the booth and on field. It was great halftime adjustments to make the changes,” Tigers senior linebacker Kevin Blueford said. “We are not big, but we are faster than everybody. If you can get 11 hats to the ball, that enough to make to the offensive line and the running backs feel our presence every play.”

Stark agrees that speed and conditioning helped his team slow the run game for Manteca in the second half.

“We tell our kids every week that we are giving away 50 to 60 pounds up front,” Stark said. “We are not little, but big guys get tired at some point. We are in great shape and will keep running to the ball and swarming to the ball. Eventually the pile goes backwards. In the first half it wasn’t, but eventually it did. We wore them out a little bit.”

Inderkum advances to the second round of section playoffs for the seventh consecutive season. The Tigers will travel to Manteca next Friday, Nov. 16 to take on No. 3 seed Sierra. The Timberwolves (10-1, 6-1) lone loss this season came to D-III top seed Oakdale in September; the team defeated Rosemont tonight 28-8.

“We really haven’t been on the road much this year at all,” Stark said. “It’s another football game in the other team’s facility, but you have to take them out of the game and take momentum away and get on top.” 

Halftime presentation with Monty Maxwell and Principal George Tapanes.
Comstock Mortgage raised  $5,200 for Inderkum programs.

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