Falcons steer way to 4-1 pre-season
WHEATLAND - After steering his young Colfax High football team through a successful pre-season that was capped here Friday night with a 40-6 win over Wheatland, Falcons’ coach Tony Martello knows it’s time to take his team’s training wheels off.
“We’re happy with our results in the pre-season but we know it’s all about league,” said Martello whose Falcons started slow against the Pirates but scored 34 unanswered points over the middle two quarters to break the game open.
“Our league looks like it could be as wide open as it’s been in years,” said Martello. “We hope to be able to compete every week.”
The Falcons, 4-1 on the season and a team whose roster is dotted with its fair share of juniors and sophomores, will enter a bye week and then prep for a gauntlet of Pioneer Valley League foes which include, for starters in order, Placer, Lincoln and Bear River.
“It’s a tough way to start league,” said Martello whose Falcons host three-time defending champion Placer on Oct. 7 to kickoff league play. “But actually every league game this season will be tough.”
In Friday’s win, the Falcons put forth a balanced offensive attack and also cashed in on defense with a pair of recovered fumbles and a pass interception.
“I thought we did a decent job on both sides of the ball,” said the Colfax coach. “Wheatland posed a big threat with their size but we were able to dig in and do a good job.”
Colfax rushed for 204 yards on the night with a balanced look that featured Mason Ahrens with 68 yards on nine carries, Marc Avila with 57 more on eight trips, Gage Ashlock with 53 on 11 totes and quarterback Austin Weir chipping in with 31 more yards.
Ahrens had second quarter scoring runs of five and 14 yards while Weir connected with Garren O’Keefe on a 58-yard pass-run scoring play that helped the Falcons take a 20-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
In the second half behind crisp blocking from the offensive line of Jared Ljubi, Trevor Searcy, Tyler Austin, Brendan Slattery and O’Keefe, the Falcons added two Avila scoring runs of six and 24 yards and a two yard plunge by Gage Ashlock after a late Jake Green pass interception.
Weir finished the evening with an efficient effort that included a 7 for 9 showing through the air for 142 yards. Junior quarterback Ryland Heimann also had a 32-yard pass play to O’Keefe in the second quarter that led to the game’s first score.
O’Keefe was the night’s big target catching five balls for 126 yards. Blake Kipp added two catches for 35 yards.
Defensively, the Falcons held the Pirates (1-4) to 120 yards on the ground via 36 attempts.
Colfax JVs 41 Wheatland 0 – The Falcons improved to 5-0 with the win over the Pirates. Linebacker Dylan Owens returned two second half fumbles for touchdowns, one from 58 yards away and the other from 55 yards out. Quarterback Alex Weir also connected with Zach Fejes on a 22-yard touchdown aerial.