No. 5-seeded Colfax stopped a two-point conversion attempt with 22 seconds to play and overcame an incredible individual performance by rival quarterback Jake Gookin to upset top-seeded Sonora 56-55 Friday night in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V semifinals in Sonora.
Gookin, who accounted for seven total touchdowns, threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Evan Bearden that enabled the Wildcats (9-3) to close to within a point 45 seconds after Colfax had taken a 56-49 lead.
But Gookin couldn’t work his magic on the two-point conversion attempt and Colfax (9-3) recovered the onside kick to advance to next Saturday’s championship game against Pioneer Valley League rival Bear River, 1 p.m. at Cosumnes Oaks High School in Elk Grove.
Gookin passed for two touchdowns and rushed for six others, including a 68-yard burst up the middle that put Sonora ahead 49-42 with 10 minutes left.
But Mason Ahrens scored on a two-yard run and Alex Weir’s PAT kick knotted it at 49-49 with 4:36 to play. Then, Ahrens caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Ryland Heimann and Weir’s boot made it 56-49 with 1:07 to go.
Ahrens finished with three touchdowns and Heimann threw five touchdown passes, including three to Jake Green.
Colfax will play in its third section title game in the last four years and will seek its first championship since 2003.
In other games
No. 1 Folsom 56, No. 8 Tracy 21 in Folsom – Kaiden Bennett passed for 283 yards and five touchdowns, three to Joe Ngata, as the top-seeded Bulldogs (12-0) rolled the Bulldogs (8-4) of the southern part of the section.
Folsom, ranked No. 5 in the state by Maxpreps.com, is a win away from playing in its seventh consecutive section title, and it is aiming for its sixth championship.
No. 2 Oak Ridge 49, No. 7 Gregori 14 in El Dorado Hills – Matt Jenner completed 12 of 19 passes for 159 yards and five touchdowns, three to Justin Poerio and two to Austin Jarrard, to lead the Trojans (11-1) past the Jaguars (11-1) and advance to next Friday’s semifinals against visiting St. Mary’s. Poerio had six catches for 89 yards and rushed for 78 yards on nine carries. Avant Jacobs returned an interception 45 yards for the Trojans.
No. 3 St. Mary’s 31, No. 6 Sheldon 28 in Stockton – The defending D-I champion Rams (10-2) scored on a 38-yard pass with 1:47 remaining, then picked off a pass with 40 seconds left to prevail over the Huskies (9-3). Sheldon had rallied from a 24-7 halftime deficit to take a 28-24 lead with 3:30 to play on Tyrell Smith’s third rushing touchdown of the second half.
No. 1 Granite Bay 37, No. 8 Antelope 0 in Granite Bay – Jacob Ellis rushed for a 32-yard touchdown and Evan Tatersall had a two-yard score to help the Grizzlies (10-2) jump to a 17-0 halftime lead en route to the one-sided win over the Titans (10-2). Granite Bay will host No. 4 Del Campo in next Friday’s semifinals.
No. 3 Central Catholic 42, No. 6 Rocklin 18 in Modesto – Dauson Booker rushed for touchdowns of 76, 59 and four yards and returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown, and Coleby Garrett had two rushing touchdowns as the Raiders (10-1) rolled the Thunder (7-5). Blayden Brown returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown for Rocklin.
No. 3 Christian Brothers 30, No. 11 Rio Linda 21 at Hughes Stadium – Gunnor Faulk rushed for a 41-yard touchdown and threw 10- and three-yard touchdown passes to Tyler Green and Spencer Webb to rally the Falcons (10-2) over the upset-minded Knights (7-5) and advance to the semifinals at second-seeded Manteca next Friday. Rio Linda led 21-14 at the half on two Eric Williams touchdown runs and a nine-yard touchdown run by Tyson Ybarra.
No. 4 Patterson 40, No. 5 Vista del Lago 22 in Patterson – Gabe Sanchez threw three touchdown passes and Phabian Threadgill scored two touchdowns as the Tigers (11-1) ended the season for the Eagles (7-5). Dominik Norris rushed for two touchdowns for Vista del Lago.
No. 1 Placer 35, No. 5 Woodland 6 in Auburn – Michael Struck threw touchdown passes of 44 and 43 yards, respectively, to Travis Warren and Louis Fudge; Brad Bishop rushed for two touchdowns and Jorge Maldonado returned an interception 40 yards for a score as the Hillmen (11-1) defeated the Wolves (7-5) to advance to the D-IV championship game for a second consecutive year. The Hillmen keep alive their bid for their first section football title since 1981. Placer will play Pioneer Valley League rival Center for the title 6 p.m. Nov. 25 at Cosumnes Oaks High School.
No. 3 Center 26, No. 2 Casa Roble 25 at Bella Vista HS – Robbie Donnell rushed for three touchdowns, including the game winner with three minutes to play, to lift the Cougars (7-5) over the Rams (6-6). Austin Ehinger threw two touchdown passes and also rushed for a touchdown for Casa Roble.
No. 6 Bear River 14, No. 7 Ripon 7 in Lake of the Pines – Austin Baze ran for a 12-yard touchdown shortly after recovering a Ripon fumble; Travis Carpenter added a fourth-quarter, one-yard touchdown plunge and Luke Bagget had an interception and fumble recovery to lead the Bruins (9-3) over the Indians (8-4) and advance to the Division V championship game Nov. 25.
No. 4 Modesto Christian 21, No. 1 Bradshaw Christian 7 in South Sacramento – The Crusaders (7-5) scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to stun the Pride (8-4). Kyrese Robinson’s 10-yard run was Bradshaw Christian’s lone touchdown.
No. 1 Rio Vista 39, No. 4 Woodland Christian 3 in Rio Vista – Dakota Mills’ two early touchdowns helped spark the Rams (8-3) in topping the Cardinals (10-2).
Sutter 55, Gridley 13 in Sutter – Bryce Kunkle rushed for three touchdowns, Trever Facey added 79- and 24-yard touchdown runs and Dante Caracciola returned an interception 33 yards for a score to lead the Huskies (11-1) over the Bulldogs (9-3) in the Division III semifinals.
East Nicolaus 44, Colusa 7 in Trowbridge – Corey Taylor and Mauricio Bautista each rushed for two touchdowns to lead the Spartans (12-0) past the Redhawks (7-5) in the D-IV semifinals.