Falcons, Hillmen face off with 2 weeks to go
Know & go
Who: Colfax Falcons (7-1 overall, 2-1 PVL) at Placer Hillmen (4-4 overall, 3-0 PVL)
When: 7:30 p.m. today
Where: Placer High School, Auburn
The Falcons have cleared their first hurdle on the way to the postseason. They have won two games, putting them in the running for a spot in the playoffs.
But there’s still a long road ahead, and tonight, that road winds its way through Placer.
After a one-win preseason, the Hillmen have hit the throttle hard against their Pioneer Valley League opponents and remain the only undefeated team in the league.
In doing so, they have outscored their opponents by 100 points, 140-40, including a 35-19 home victory over highly ranked Lincoln last week.
The game promises to be a clash of styles between two high-powered offenses that have routinely put up big numbers. The Falcons have scored at least 28 in every game this season, and the Hillmen have failed just once to score more than 20. That was in their first game of the season.
But while Colfax has relied on a high-flying pass offense to get to 7-1 in league, Placer boasts a punishing run game that has amassed more than 2,700 yards this season and has eclipsed 400 yards in a game on three separate occasions, two of those coming in PVL play.
The Falcons’ on-field general, quarterback Michael Wilson, returned to his early season brilliance in last week’s 56-12 win over Foothill. For the eighth straight game, he threw for more than 250 yards and at least three touchdowns. Perhaps more importantly, he did not throw an interception for the first time since Week 3.
However, if the Hillmen manage to put pressure on Wilson, they will still have to contend with the myriad receiving options he has downfield.
After being kept relatively quiet in the first two weeks of league play, Chas Reisinger grabbed 98 yards and two touchdowns against Foothill, while teammate Kyle Bryant continued to tear through PVL secondaries with his third consecutive game of more than 120 yards receiving. Bryant also grabbed two scores last week.
But Placer cannot afford simply to key on either Reisinger or Bryant, as the Falcons’ Chris Harshman also has multiple 100-yard games this season and Wilson has completed passes to seven different receivers this year.
Even with all its weapons on offense, Colfax will need to step up big on the defensive side of the ball. The first priority will be stopping Placer’s Todd Valliere.
Valliere leads the Hillmen in both rushing (969 yards, 11 touchdowns) and receiving (349 yards, four touchdowns). The other big threat coming out of the backfield for Placer will be Cameron Scott, who in just seven games this season has rushed the ball 99 times for 748 yards, an average of more than 7.5 yards per carry.
Both teams have much to play for as Placer is looking to move to 4-0 in league play, while a win over the Hillmen would be a feather in the Falcons’ cap and would move them closer to a playoff spot.
They will square off today at Placer with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Tagline: All stats provided by MaxPreps.com.
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Highly successful postseason runs come to an end for local Little League teams