Second-half surge lifts Wolves past Falcons
Coleville 56, Sierra Lutheran 36
Sierra Lutheran 7- 9- 0-20 — 36
Coleville 10- 8-22-16 — 56
C — Safety, ball snapped out of end zone, 9:55
C — A. Gomez 11 run (A. Gomez run), 8:32
S — Stone 2 run (Miles kick), 3:54
S — Miles 35 field goal, 9:46
C — Randall 70 kick return (Painter pass from Robles), 9:29
S — Miles 23 pass from Bernhard (kick blocked), :10
C — A. Gomez 27 run (A. Gomez run), 11:09
C — Robles 75 run (A. Gomez run), 8:41
C — Castro 37 pass from Robles (run failed), 2:32
S — Cummings 6 pass from Bernhard (run failed), 7:11
C — Anderson 26 pass from Robles (Acero run), 5:10
S — Braugh 30 pass from Berger (Bernhard run), 4:42
S — Braugh 22 pass from Berger (pass failed), 4:22
C — Robles 5 run (Sandoval pass from Robles), 2:24
Rushing — Sierra Lutheran (45-102): Stone 13-55, Waite 14-32, Berger 4-19, Miles 3-21. Coleville (33-258): Robles 7-116, Gomez 20-112, Sandoval 1-12, Randall 3-12, Gonzalez 1-3.
Passing — Sierra Lutheran: Bernhard 5-6-0-36, Berger 2-4-0-52. Coleville: Robles 8-12-1-100.
Receiving — Sierra Lutheran: Cummings 3-18, Braugh 2-52, Miles 1-23, Waite 1-(-1). Coleville: Gomez 3-33, Anderson 1-26, Castro 1-37, Gonzalez 1-6, Painter 1-3, Sandoval 1-3.
Playing at home for the first time this season, the Coleville Wolves were far from satisfied with their two-point lead against Sierra Lutheran on Saturday.
Led by senior quarterback Andrew Robles and junior running back Alejandro Gomez, who combined on five second-half touchdowns, the Wolves pulled away to a 56-36 Western 1A eight-man football victory.
Coleville (1-1 league, 2-1 overall) scored 22 unanswered points in the third quarter to gain some breathing room and then held off a late comeback by Sierra Lutheran (0-2, 0-3) on a sunny and cool autumn afternoon in the Antelope Valley.
“We wanted to play well for everyone here,” said Robles, who ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more. “We wanted to go full speed. It was about cutting down on the mistakes and just getting to it.”
Robles rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns, plus he threw for a pair of scores, while Gomez added 112 yards and two touchdowns.
There was some adversity to overcome, however, as the Wolves turned the ball over four times and gave up 152 yards on 12 penalties. And after taking an early 10-0 lead, they only led 18-16 at halftime thanks to Corbin Randall’s 70-yard kick return for a touchdown.
“It was a matter of hunkering down and doing what we have to do the best we can … having all eight men do their job, getting their blocks down and avoiding penalties the best we could,” Gomez said of the Wolves’ second half.
On the other hand, the North Carson Valley-based Falcons faced their own adversities on a day when 14 of the team’s 15 players suited up. The Falcons received another setback when Austin Stone missed the second half with an injury after rushing for 55 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries.
“We kept fighting,” first-year Sierra Lutheran coach Delbert Bugg said. “It got to a point where we just had to keep making plays and everyone answered the bell. I can’t say enough about guys like Nathan Waite, Peyton Hedwall and Rocky Dimartino who never came off the field.”
The Wolves only needed 51 seconds to score after receiving the second half kickoff. Robles set the tone on first down when he shook loose for 18 yards and followed with a 9-yard gain and then Gomez ran 27 yards around right end to pay dirt.
Coleville’s defense forced a three-and-out on the next series. Then on first down, Robles found running room on the left side and weaved his way to a 75-yard score.
Sierra Lutheran followed with a seven-play drive, only to turn the ball over on a second-and-1 play at the 24 when Coleville’s Zane Loggins recovered a fumble.
The Wolves capitalized with a five-play drive that ended when Quinton Castro caught a 37-yard touchdown pass from Robles to extend the lead to 40-16.
The Falcons answered with a nine-play drive, aided by three penalties, that culminated with a 6-yard touchdown pass on third down from Alex Bernhard to Quinn Cummings.
Coleville recovered the ensuing onside kick attempt, and four plays later, Robles found tight end Jacob Anderson open for a 26-yard touchdown pass.
The stubborn Falcons still weren’t done, though. Freshman Makez Berger, who made his debut at quarterback in the third quarter, threw two touchdown passes only 48 seconds apart to make it 48-36.
After a pass interference penalty, the left-handed Berger threw a 30-yard scoring strike to Ethan Braugh. Hedwall, in his first appearance as kicker due to an injury, squibbed an onside kick that was recovered by Dimartino. Another pass interference penalty moved the ball to the Wolves’ 22 before Berger hooked up with Braugh for another touchdown.
“He’s been our No. 3 quarterback, but we’ve wanted to get him in there because he has such a nice touch on the ball,” Bugg said of Berger. “He’s still learning, but he stepped up today. He’s a gamer.”
Hedwall attempted another onside kick, however, Vernon Painter fell on the ball for Coleville. Five plays later, Robles scored on a 5-yard keeper around the right side.
The Wolves took their 10-0 lead on a safety and touchdown that came within 83 seconds of each other. The safety was set up on the opening kickoff when Loggins made a tackle at the 7. Anderson followed with a sack and then the punt formation snap sailed out of the end zone. Coleville took the free kick and cashed in with a four-play, 35-yard drive that culminated with Gomez scoring on an 11-yard sweep around his left end.
Sierra Lutheran came up with a big defensive play late in the first quarter when Nathan Waite recovered a fumble at the 3. Austin Stone scored two plays later on a 2-yard run inside.
Sophomore John Miles kicked his first career field goal, a 35-yarder early in the second quarter to even the score at 10.
The score didn’t remain tied for long, as Randall returned the ensuing kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown.
Sierra Lutheran got back in it shortly before halftime when Miles caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Bernhard on a third-and-10 play.
Defensively, Anderson was in on 18 tackles (five solo), Randall 12 (six solo) while Brayan Garcia and Gomez added 11 each for Coleville.