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Thomas' touch lifts Falcons over Placer

Hillmen suffer first loss as Colfax strikes late at Le Febvre Stadium
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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Brady Thomas can boot a soccer ball 70 yards in the air. But it was the Colfax High senior’s deft touch that lifted the Falcons to their biggest win of the season Thursday night at Le Febvre Stadium. Placer suffered its first defeat of the season when, with just six minutes left in the game, Thomas floated a shot into the right corner of the hosts’ net. The senior normally plays defender, but the Falcons put Thomas up front to add firepower to the offense. He delivered in unlikely fashion. “We moved Brady up tonight. I played his position,” said senior Michael Manning, who anchored Colfax’s shutout with a terrific game in the central defense. “He’s got a big boot, but tonight he proved he could do it with skill with that chip.” Placer (11-1-2 overall, 3-1-1 Pioneer Valley League) created many more scoring chances throughout the contest, even after losing midfielder Archie Warren to a red card just before halftime. The Hillmen fired 18 shots, including 10 on frame, but Falcons’ goalkeeper Adam McCord was up to the task on each one. McCord snuffed out several Placer chances in the final 10 minutes, including a big sliding stop on Jose Arellano, who had gotten behind the rest of the Colfax defense. The Hillmen played without coach Mark Miller, who was out of town. Junior varsity coach Dave Brown filled in and said Placer had its chances. “We battled the whole game,” Brown said. “Even down a man in the second half, we created a lot of opportunities, we just couldn’t finish it. I’m pretty proud of the way we played. We didn’t imagine going undefeated the whole year, so hopefully we can learn from this and get better from it.” The game opened up in the final 20 minutes with both teams running hard from end to end. First-year Colfax coach Jim Logan was proud of the defense, which kept Placer’s potent attack in check. “We talked about it at halftime and we thought the intensity would increase as the game progressed,” Logan said. “There was a lot of pressure on (Placer ) to win with the fantastic season they’ve had. We just wanted to keep communicating, keep the ball wide and take the steam away from their attack.” As for Logan’s lineup change that led to Thomas’ winning goal, he couldn’t take all the credit. “We have shooting practice every week and he tries that chip shot all the time and he never makes it,” Logan said. “He found it at the right time and he got it done. Normally he’s a guy that shoots from 30 yards out and he can really blast it.” Placer got excellent defensive work from junior Zack Lucas, senior Matt Norcott and senior Victor Brambila. Senior Dylan Day had a big game in the midfield along with Arellano. The Falcons (6-5 overall, 3-2 PVL) got great play from defenders Gary Root and Garrett Spoor. Sophomore forward Cameron Ford provided a spark up front alongside senior Joey Rooker. In junior varsity action, Placer and Colfax tied, 1-1.