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Folsom 48, Serra 20

Late charge gives Bulldogs state title

Graves accounts for six TDs as Folsom pulls away from Serra
By: Matt Long Gold Country News Service
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CARSON — Three touchdowns in 25 seconds turned a close game into a Folsom blowout, as the Bulldogs won the CIF State Football Division II Championship on Saturday in Carson, defeating Serra, 48-20. Folsom held a slim 21-20 lead after three quarters, but scored four touchdowns in the fourth quarter to win convincingly. “We have the ability to score quickly,” Folsom coach Kris Richardson said. “We just out-executed them late in the game. The offense always gets the credit, but the defense played great too.” Serra, which entered the game undefeated and had won 29 straight games, was driving for the go-ahead score late in the third quarter and faced a fourth-and-two situation at the Folsom 18. The Cavaliers went for it all with a pass in the end zone, but Tyler Trosin tipped the pass and his brother, Tanner, intercepted it, thwarting a Serra drive while giving the Bulldogs the ball in the process. Dano Graves hooked up with Jordan Richards on the ensuing play for a 45-yard gain to the Serra 35-yard line. Two plays later on third and 10, Graves found Richards again as Richards made a sliding catch out of bounds to set up a fourth-and-one play from the 26-yard line. Graves took it himself and gained 16 yards on the final play of the third quarter for another Folsom first down. Two plays into the fourth, Graves scored on a one-yard run and Dillon Wessing’s extra point gave Folsom a 28-20 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, Serra muffed a short kick by Troy Watson and Wessing recovered at the 28-yard line. It proved to be the turning point of the game. “Two of our guys hit their player and took him out and I saw the ball sitting on the ground,” Wessing said. “I was in a full sprint and got on it right away. I was relieved that I recovered it cleanly since it was right by the side line. I felt pure excitement after that.” As did the rest of the team and the Bulldog fans, some 500 or so who made the seven-hour drive down to Carson to support the team. Two plays later, Graves found a wide open Tyler Trosin for a 27-yard touchdown pass, the third time the two hooked up for a score in the game. Wessing’s extra point put Folsom up 35-20 with 10:56 to play. On Serra’s next play from scrimmage after the kickoff, quarterback Conner Preston overthrew his receiver on a screen pass and Jordan Richards intercepted the pass on the run and returned it 35 yards for a score, which all but secured a Folsom victory, as the Bulldogs led 41-20 with 10:46 to play. “I read the screen and the ball was high and I just went to make a play on it,” Richards said. “After scoring I wasn’t thinking about anything; I was just running around like a chicken with its head cut off.” Serra’s next drive ended on downs when Marcus Hendricks sacked Preston on a fourth-and-six play from the Folsom 35-yard line. The Bulldogs drove down the field from there, using as much clock as possible along the way, and Graves capped the drive, the scoring and the game with a 1-yard run. Folsom converted a fourth-and-four play right before the touchdown on a 21-yard pass from Graves to Hendricks. When the final buzzer sounded, Folsom’s team and fans showed their enthusiasm. “To win the state title is a fantasy; it’s a dream come true,” senior Tyler Trosin said. Senior linebacker Burton De Koning added, “It’s the best feeling in the world.” “It’s amazing,” said Richards. “We’ve worked for this since January and even back to when we were 8-years old playing for the Junior Bulldogs. There is no better way to end it and on top of that we’re going to Disneyland tomorrow.”