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Falcons roll past Los Banos, 56-21

By: Mike Ray
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COLFAX– If the Colfax High football team was feeling the pressure of entering the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs as the No. 1 seed, the Falcons sure didn’t show it Friday night.

Showing no ill effects of last week’s first-round bye, the Falcons spotted visiting Los Banos a pair of first-quarter touchdowns but more than made up for the deficit by scoring 35 first-stanza points of their own on the way to an eventual 56-21 quarterfinal round taming of the Tigers.

The win for the top-seed Falcons, their 11th straight on the season, vaults Colfax into next Friday’s semifinal round, where the Falcons will entertain Sonora, the No. 4 seed, a come-from-behind 28-27 winner Friday over Foothill.

“I thought we played pretty well,” said Colfax senior receiver Colton Reeves, who was more than a thorn in Los Banos’ side all night long. “We weren’t worried about having the week off. It was just about coming out and playing.”

Reeves was quarterback Alex Weir’s main target Friday as he hauled in six passes for 185 yards with three going for touchdowns on distances of 67, 10 and 47 yards. And, just for good measure, Reeves also took back a kickoff 88 yards for another six points.

“We’re just ready to get past this game and move on to the next one,” Reeves added. “We’re happy to still be playing.”

Weir also had a strong night. Receiving excellent protection from offensive linemen Mike O’Neill, Jacob LaHaie, Wiley Drummond, Sam Baldoni and Peter O’Brien, Weir hit on 12 of 17 passes for 293 yards and five touchdowns.

“We felt coming in we could throw the ball on them,” said Colfax coach Tony Martello. “The kids ran some great routes and Alex threw very well tonight.”

Besides his three touchdown tosses to Reeves, Weir also connected with O’Brien on a 9-yard toss and Jake Green on a 43-yard tally that made the score 49-14 Falcons at the half.

O’Brien also came up with a huge first-half play on defense when he picked off a tipped Dasani Tate pass and returned the errant Los Banos aerial 44 yards for another Colfax score.

On the evening, Colfax’s running game was led by Daniel Bliss, who broke loose for a 52-yard touchdown run and finished with 96 yards on 15 carries. Kicker Dylan Garcia was also a perfect seven-for-seven on extra-point boots.

“Overall, it was a good team win,” said Martello. “The kids battled and I think after the week off, we were ready to go.”

Defensively, Colfax allowed a pair of long touchdown passes by the Tigers but more than kept the visitors’ spread attack in check thanks to strong showings from LaHaie, Tucker Klopotek, Zach Fejes, Angelo Margherita, Christian Evensen and Parker Sullivan.

Los Banos running back Justin Incaprera was the Tigers’ workhorse as he finished with 22 carries for 87 yards. Landon Ramos had a 57-yard scoring reception from Tate while Bryant Camp snagged the other Tigers’ scoring pass, a 62-yard grab in the third quarter.

Colfax will now turn its attention to Sonora. A year ago, the Falcons traveled to Sonora and won an epic 56-55 semifinal shootout.

“They have a great program,” said Martello about the Wildcats. “They have an offense we don’t see a whole lot. It’s a big challenge for us.”