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Sports Chatter: Marson Field holds up

By: Mike Ray, Colfax Record Sports Editor
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As the scoreboard clock ran down and the cold, piercing rain continued to pelt Colfax High’s Marson Stadium Friday night, it was clearly evident that the Colfax Falcons would be playing Thanksgiving Week football again for the first time since 2007.
And, as ironic has it may sound, Colfax’s opponent this Friday night in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. IV semi-final, Escalon, may have had a lot to due with the Falcons’ success last week.
On a rainy Friday night where playing on real grass fields around the section made for some miserable playing conditions, the Falcons found nothing but smooth sailing on their sand-based Bermuda turf that held up like a champ.
Three weeks after hosting four youth football playoff games, three games against Bear River, an opening round playoff win and Friday’s 28-7 conquest of Argonaut, the field at Marson still looked good enough to host a Super Bowl.
That, however, wasn’t the case some 12 years ago when a wet, slip-n-slide playoff game played basically in a mud bog against Escalon forced Colfax coach Tony Martello to start making inquiries about installing a new type of turf.
“When it rained on our old field, the water, basically had no were to go,” said Martello. “It got bad in a hurry. With the new grass and the sand base and drainage system underneath, it’s so much nicer.”
For Falcon fans new to the area, it was a second round playoff game against Escalon in 1998 that forced Colfax to tear out its old field and go with the absorbent Bermuda strain.
In that ’98 game, Colfax entered the contest with a perfect 11-0 record and a Cal-Hi Sports No. 3 state Div. IV ranking, the highest ever attained by a Falcons team. Escalon, meanwhile was a typical big and tough Cougars team that had a big line and big running backs that ran hard.
It started raining in Colfax on game day in the middle of the morning and basically never stopped. While Colfax had other issues - a botched coin toss call and only 10 men on the field on an Escalon punt return that went for a touchdown – the bigger issue in the eventual 17-12 loss was the smaller Falcons – because of the poor field conditions - inability to get footing or leverage against the bigger Cougars.
Last Friday, as they have for much of the season, the Falcons gave away plenty of size to Argonaut on both sides of the ball. However, with a sturdy base under their feet, the Falcons didn’t skip a beat in the rainy conditions, it’s quickness coming to the forefront in the win.
“The old field held up pretty good,” said Martello. “Everyone is going to artificial turf but I like what we have here.”
Grid picks
A 6-1 playoff week pushes the season mark to 75-30. This week:
Colfax 28 Escalon 27 – The clock doesn’t want to strike midnight on the Falcons’ special season.
Union Mine 23 Calaveras 20 – The Tow Brothers overpower the Redskins.
Del Oro 23 Patterson 17 – Golden Eagles come home from the Apricot Bowl with the win.