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Buffaloes trample Bulldogs in non-league matchup
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Turlock quarterback Cole Gilbert lobs the pass over Manteca pass rusher Joshua Puetz (Photo by WAYNE THALLANDER).

It was the Blake Nichelson Show at Guss Schmiedt Field on Friday.

Manteca High’s senior running back rushed for 202 yards on 23 carries, scoring six times in the 59-22 non-league slugfest over Turlock High.

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Turlock's Andrew Johnson reaches for the ball before making the tough grab on third down despite tight coverage from Manteca corner back Eddie Anthony (Photo by WAYNE THALLANDER).

“He makes everyone’s job easy,” said Buffaloes coach Mark Varnum of the 6-2, 205-pound Nichelson.

His team improved to 4-0 with Bryson Davis scoring twice.

Manteca’s ground game also left Bulldog coach James Peterson in awed.

Turlock (1-3) continued to play a tough schedule early on, losing to the likes of Central Section powers Clovis West and Central High of Fresno.

“We’re a young team and we play that way,” said Peterson. “We have some dynamic players.

“We just need to be more consistent.”

Manteca jumped out to a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter.

Turlock (1-3) caught its big break when quarterback Cole Gilbert connected on 78-yard pass play to Peter Mello on a third and very long. Gilbert punched it in from a yard out.

The Buffaloes answered back, taking advantage of the short field and scoring on Davis touchdown run.

The Bulldogs responded with JT Foreman II taking advantage of a gaping hole up the middle, racing 67 yards to paydirt.

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Turlock linebacker Joshua Weatherbee closes in on Manteca ball carrier Blake Nichelson (Photo by WAYNE THALLANDER).

The seesaw battle continued through the second with Nichelson scoring on a short run and Foreman hooking up with Gilbert on 18-yard score. Vincent Gonzales’ PAT run made it 35-22 at the half.

Gilbert completed 13 of his 25 passes for 228 yards with one interception.

Mello caught four passes for 123 yards.