Manteca quarterback Ryan Ward leads the fifth-ranked Buffaloes into The Corral on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, for a Valley Oak League showdown with No. 3 Oakdale. (Sean Kahler Photography)

Moving day already? CCAL, VOL races heat up with top-10 showdowns

James Burns

Large Schools

Editor’s note: Comprised of teams from the Central California Athletic League, Central California Conference, Valley Oak League and Western Athletic Conference. Last week’s ranking and current records in parenthesis.

1. (1) Turlock (3-2): The Bulldogs used the bye week to prepare for their Central California Athletic League opener at Downey. Turlock and Downey are the prohibitive favorites in the CCAL. Friday: at Downey.

2. (2) Buhach Colony (5-0): The Thunder are No. 2 in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III rankings, trailing only Sacramento-power Capital Christian. Friday: vs. El Capitan.

3. (3) Oakdale (4-2): As summer gives way to fall, the football gods provide. The Mustangs return to The Corral after blasting Weston Ranch, where they’ll host an ancient Valley Oak League rival in a game that has huge title implications. Friday: vs. Manteca.

4. (4) Central Catholic (2-4): The Raiders handed Sierra its first loss of the season, holding off a fourth-quarter charge to win its second in a row. Quarterback Dalton Durossette connected with Sithri Price six times for 165 yards and two touchdowns. Friday: at East Union.

5. (5) Manteca (3-2): The Buffaloes used their bye week to move past a narrow loss to Central Catholic and prepare for another doozy. If Manteca wants to remain in the hunt for the VOL title, it will have to conjure a win in the toughest stadium in the valley. Friday: at Oakdale.

6. (6) Downey (3-2): The Knights’ strong start -- wins over East Union, Manteca and Merced -- has faded in the wake of a two-game losing streak. However, the bye has allowed Downey to rest and heal for its CCAL clash with top-ranked Turlock. Friday: vs. Turlock.

7. (7) Sierra (5-1): Junior Kimoni Stanley highlighted the Timberwolves’ late scoring spree in a loss at Central Catholic. Stanley gashed the Raiders for 184 yards and two touchdowns on just 15 carries, including a long 67 yards. Friday: bye.

8. (9) Atwater (5-1): The Falcons pummeled Central Valley to improve to 2-0 in the Central California Conference. A win over sliding Patterson would solidify Atwater’s place among the league title contenders. Friday: vs Patterson.

9. (8) Patterson (3-3): Logan McCleery threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns, but the Tigers’ two-headed ground attack was bottled up in a stunning loss to Golden Valley. Patterson averaged only 2.2 yards on 23 carries, providing little balance. Friday: at Atwater.

10. (nr) Golden Valley (3-2): The Cougars have won two straight, upending teams ranked in the large- and small-school polls. Golden Valley leaned on Livingston, a darkhorse in the Trans-Valley League, and then stunned Patterson to climb into the top-10. Friday: at Central Valley.

On the bubble: Merced (3-3), Gregori (3-2).

Dropped out: Davis (4-1).