Falcons plow past Sonora
COLFAX– An improbable football season continued to reach epic proportions for the Colfax Falcons here Friday night.
The Falcons, picked by many soothsayers to finish anywhere from third to fourth place in several preseason Pioneer Valley League forecasts, continued to defy the odds-makers here Friday night by putting together a dominating performance to reach their second straight CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division V championship game.
Shrugging off wind, rain, mud and a soggy Marson Stadium turf, the PVL champion Falcons put together stifling efforts on both sides of the ball to throttle Sonora’s outgunned Wildcats, 51-7, in their D-V semifinal round game.
The fans that braved Fridays’ miserable weather saw Colfax take advantage of three turnovers by the Mother Lode League champions and use a balanced passing and running attack to out-gain the Wildcats on the evening in total yardage, 355 to 54.
For Colfax, now 12-0 on the season, the No. 1 seed Falcons will face PVL rival and No. 3 seed Bear River (11-1) either next Friday or Saturday for D-V honors. The section was expected to name the time and site of the D-V title game on Saturday.
Colfax, which won a 56-55 shootout last season in the semifinal round at Sonora, threw down a shutdown defensive performance at the Wildcats that proved to be the difference in the game.
“We made some adjustments to what we do and they really paid off,” said Colfax coach Tony Martello. “I thought our defense played very well tonight. We took away what they like to do.”
Sonora, which runs a triple-option offense, was stymied most of the evening by Colfax’s swarming defense, led by Christian Evensen, Parker Sullivan, Jacob LaHaie, Zach Fejes, Jacob Schwartz and Angelo Margherita, just to name a few.
Sonora quarterback Jake Gookin, who ran roughshod on Colfax’s defense a year ago for 256 yards and five touchdowns, proved to be no factor Friday as he was limited to minus-12 yards rushing on 13 carries and no scores.
The game started with plenty of action as there were three turnovers and three touchdowns scored in the game’s first five minutes.
The Falcons took an early 2-0 lead in the game when the Wildcats mishandled a bad snap on a punt that went out of the back of the end zone for a safety.
After Sonora’s ensuing free kick, the Falcons and Wildcats traded turnovers on back-to back plays. However, after an Evensen fumble recovery at the Colfax 49, Colfax quarterback Alex Weir connected with Jake Green on a 51-yard scoring play for a 9-0 Falcons lead.
Sonora, however, answered back with Bryan Wynne taking back Colfax’s kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. The crowd had hardly settled back into their seats, however, when Green answered the Wildcats’ salvo by returning their kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown and a 16-7 Falcons lead.
From there, the two teams settled in and with the Falcons’ defense repeatedly forcing the Wildcats into three-and-outs, Colfax capitalized.
Weir, who was 6-for-14 passing for 189 yards and three touchdowns, hit Colton Reeves on a 23-yard touchdown pass, still in the first quarter, for a 23-7 advantage. Then, after Evensen recovered his second fumble of the night at the Sonora 5, Daniel Bliss went over three plays later for a 30-7 lead.
Colfax stayed on the gas in the second quarter with a 50-yard pass from Weir to Peter O’Brien, setting up an 11-yard scoring run from Bliss, which made the score 37-7 at halftime.
Colfax completed its scoring in the second half with Reeves scooting around end for a 33-yard touchdown run and Weir connecting with Green from 35 yards out and another six points.
Colfax’s balanced rushing game was led by Reeves (three catches, 58 yards), Jack Watts (15, 56) and Bliss (12, 51).
The Colfax-Bear River matchup will be the third time in the last five seasons that the two teams have played for the section title.