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Falcons coach jokes he thought tornado warning was Placer High D-line passing by Colfax

Hillmen expect Robinson back for rival game
By: Matthew Kimel / Journal sports editor
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Claiming strong wasn’t the right word to describe Placer High’s defensive pass rush, Colfax coach Tony Martello chose a meteorological metaphor instead. “I thought maybe some of the tornado warnings coming (Monday) were from that D-line over there,” Martello joked. “I thought maybe they were driving through Colfax.” Last week the Hillmen’s defensive line stormed past Lincoln’s offensive line to record seven sacks. When Placer heads to Colfax Friday night for a 7:30 p.m. Pioneer Valley League showdown, one of the key matchups to watch will be how the Falcons’ prolific junior quarterback Michael Wilson fares against the Hillmen’s Fearsome Foursome. “Honestly, they’re pretty special,” Martello said of the Placer pass rushers. “They might be the best D-line in California. You got the No. 2 recruit in the state (Eddie Vanderdoes), Jake Lewis, Stone Sander. That’s incredible.” And there’s also Wyatt Decker, who has three sacks in as many games. Wilson has had a rather successful season for Colfax (4-4, 1-2), passing for 2,272 yards with 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in his varsity debut. His favorite target on the youthful offense would appear to be fellow junior Kyle Bryant, who has caught 56 passes for 969 yards and four scores. The two are among the Sacramento area’s leaders in terms of yards gained for their respective positions. Sophomore Tim Rawlins (625 yards, 10 TDs) provides some spark for the Colfax ground game. Decker believes the Hillmen (8-0, 3-0) have a big advantage in the trenches, though, when his unit is on the field that could disrupt the pass-first Falcons. “Our team has been making teams throw earlier than they want to,” said the 6-foot-1, 230-pound Decker, who benches 350 pounds and doesn’t seem all that big when standing next to the 6-4, 305-pound Vanderdoes (eight sacks). Another thing that could hinder Wilson’s time in the pocket is injuries. The Falcons will suit up without two starting offensive lineman, one starting wide receiver and two guys from the secondary, but Martello would not provide their names. The Hillmen are dealing with injuries, too. Last week Jalen Lewis, who plays wide receiver and defensive back, suffered a collarbone injury and will be a game-time decision, coach Joey Montoya said. Casey Yunk is likely to get more playing time if Lewis is out. Montoya is expecting Michael Robinson, the starting fullback and linebacker, to return to action at Colfax. Robinson (knee) missed about 46 minutes of action last week before begging Montoya to let him carry the rock on the game-winning drive. The Hillmen, who escaped from Lincoln with a 10-7 victory, missed Robinson on both sides of the ball. “Anytime Michael Robinson is out of the lineup it will affect you,” Montoya said. “He’s kind of the heart and soul of the team.” After being held to a season-low 10 points last week, Robinson’s return could help bolster the Hillmen offense, which has scored just three touchdowns in two weeks. But Montoya doesn’t sound overly concerned with the unit’s lack of production on the scoreboard. “We need to do what we do better,” said Montoya, who asserts his team isn’t looking ahead of a good Colfax team to a date with Center next week for at least a share of the PVL crown. “We’re still scoring 42 points a game. Sometimes great teams have bad nights, flat nights. We know we’re going to have a great performance Friday night and the weeks to come.” Martello expressed a similar opinion. “The New England Patriots have a bad game here and there. Aaron Rodgers stubs his toe a bit,” Martello said. “I wouldn’t make a whole lot out of that.” Martello had nothing but praise for the unbeaten Hillmen. “Placer has a team that comes around every 25 years,” he said. “They’re amazing. They’re incredible. They don’t have one weakness. They got what a coach dreams for. It’s awesome to watch them.” On Friday night, Martello will get to watch the Hillmen up close from the sidelines — unless a twister happens to block his view. Reach Matthew Kimel at matthewk@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewkimel for live updates from the game. Or tune in to KAHI 950 AM.