Colfax falls to Center
With the game on the line, every play is magnified and every mistake can make the difference between a win and a loss.
For the second straight week, Colfax learned this the hard way after the Center Cougars downed them 33-21 at home in a game that came down to the wire.
Just like last week against Bear River, a Colfax turnover cost them the game. With the ball at their own 26-yard line with 3:21 to go in the final quarter down 26-21, Falcons quarterback Marcus Jackson, who was 15 for 23 with 133 yards and two touchdowns, had a chance to put an exclamation point on an efficient evening and avoid a second straight loss in SFL action. Instead, after only two plays, Jackson was picked off by Tobias Marshall, who returned it 40 yards for a touchdown. Though it was a heartbreaking way to end a game that had been a back and forth affair all night, Colfax coach Tony Martello knows there are plenty of positives to take out of their defeat.
“We’re working hard, we have a lot of character, and we still have a lot to work for. We still have a lot to play for,” Martello said.
Center was able to overcome a slow start that saw quarterback Elias Jbeily cough up the football in Colfax territory on a botched handoff with Marshall during their opening drive. But they were able to force a punt from Colfax and punch it in with Marshall, who logged 86 yards on 17 carries and scored two touchdowns on the ground, to even the score with 31 seconds to go in the first.
On the ensuing play, Tim Rawlins, who was held to 70 yards on 16 carries, derailed a long Colfax drive when he fumbled in the red zone. Center recovered, which would signal one of many momentum swings that defined this game.
Center was able to capitalize on a suspect pass defense, as Jbeily went 12 for 18 with 161 yards and a score. They used athletic wide receiver Tiantai Anderson extensively, getting him screen pass after screen pass en route to a seven-catch, 86-yard night.
When they weren’t using short passes, the Cougars smartly opened it up for the strong-armed Jbeily. On their first drive to begin the third quarter, Jbeily faked as if he was going to Anderson for a screen, and Colfax bit hard. The deep bomb he placed in the hands of Kurtis Meyer was a perfect throw for 50 yards, their longest offensive play of the game.
Not to be outdone, Colfax’s Landon Williams took the ensuing kickoff 70 yards to the house, giving Colfax a 21-20 lead, their last. But the Falcons defense simply couldn’t handle an impressive Center defense. Martello, who has said before that that side of the ball is young, hopes it can grow from these losses.
“We’re going to have to look at the film and assess it, and keep continuing to get better and better. (We’re) building and growing, and hopefully by the end of the year we’ll be ready for the playoffs and ready to rock and roll,” he said.
Colfax falls to 5-3 and 1-2 in league play with the loss.
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