MODESTO — The Colfax Falcons continually shot themselves in the wing Friday, grounding any chance they had of beating No.1 seed Central Catholic in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV football quarterfinals.
The Falcons turned the ball over six times, were sacked four times and got beat up on special teams as the reigning D-IV state champion Raiders bounced Colfax from the playoffs, 57-27.
Despite the lopsided loss, the Falcons (9-3) never relented, fighting valiantly until the end, but when all was said and done Central Catholic (11-1) was just too much to handle.
“We played a great team tonight,” Colfax defensive standout Jake Medeiros said. “We had momentum early, silly mistakes cost us, but I’m really proud of the way we bounced back from a 4-6 season last year. I couldn’t be more proud of the brothers I played with and I wouldn’t want to play on any other team.”
The Falcons held Central Catholic scoreless in the first quarter, thanks to Medeiros and company, forcing the Raiders to punt after multiple drives stalled. Medeiros led the defense with bone-crunching hits from his linebacker position.
It was Colfax that put points on the board, first with a 15-yard pass from senior Michael Wilson to fellow senior Kyle Bryant. Bryant totaled six catches for 136 yards and the score. Wilson finished the night with 303 yards passing, three touchdowns and three interceptions. Wilson closes the season now owning a Colfax single season record for passing touchdowns with 46.
“Incredible group of boys,” Colfax head coach Tony Martello said of his team. “Their effort has never been in question. They’re all heart and soul and they played hard.”
Central Catholic did not wait long to answer after falling behind. A muffed punt by the Falcons led to a 12-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Petlansky to Donovin Townsend.
The Falcons were intercepted on their next drive, leading to a Petlansky 8-yard scramble for the score.
A long punt return set up the Raiders next score, a 21-yard field goal. The Falcons punted their next possession away and this time Central Catholic took the punt all the way back, 45-yards for the score.
“Lots of mistakes,” Martello said. “It’s hard when you give up two punt returns, and a fumbled punt return, a critical interception in the first half, those four things really hurt us bad.”
The Falcons responded with a decent drive, but eventually stalled and they turned the ball over on downs near mid-field.
Central Catholic marched right down and scored on a Matt Ringer 2-yard plunge with just under two minutes left in the half, making it 30 straight points for the Raiders in the second quarter.
Ringer, who had topped 100 yards rushing nine times this season, was held to just 85 yards on 27 carries, but was effective elsewhere. Ringer added a half-back pass that went for a 50-yard score to his 87 yards rushing, two rushing touchdowns, and 44 receiving yards.
Colfax got its passing game going in the second half with Wilson connecting for 207 of his 303 yards, and two of his touchdowns. Senior Chas Reisinger was on the other end of Wilson’s two touchdowns, and finished with seven catches for 107 yards, and the two scores. Senior Chris Harshman pulled down four balls for 58 yards.
“I love ‘em,” Martello said of his seniors. “You can’t replace ‘em. The way they have worked is what football is truly about.”
On the ground Colfax’s junior running back Tim Rawlins had another exceptional night with 152 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown.
Central Catholic’s blitz-happy and opportunistic defense was just too good, forcing turnovers and putting the Raiders offense in prime scoring position on multiple occasions.
For Colfax this marks the end of an incredible turn around from the 4-6 season they had last year. For Central Catholic, it will continue its quest to repeat as Sac-Joaquin Section and California state (D-IV) champs.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford call 53-477-4232, or email email@example.com.