Falcons advance to Title game

The Lindsay Falcons defeated the Delano Stallions Saturday night in a highly competitive contest to advance to the Valley Title game this Saturday.

The Falcons will face the defending Valley champions, the Tulare Colts in the finals. The Colts brought the only defeat to the Falcolns this season. The Falcons look to avenge an earlier 32-6 loss to the Colts.

With this week's win, the Falcon's defense recorded their seventh shut out of the season to improve their record to 10-1.

Head coach Robert Hurtado stated "It is like the old football saying goes: you win games with offense but you win Championships with defense. That is what we will be relying on to defeat the Colts this week."

"We have made some adjustments as well as increased the intensity in practice in preparation of getting another shot at the Colts. All year long we have been preparing for this title game and we knew it would come down to the Falcons and the Colts."

In Saturday's victory over Delano, the Falcons took the lead 6-0 late in the first half and the score did not change until the fourth quarter when the Falcons added two touchdowns for the final margin of 18-0. The Falcons out gained the Stallions in total yardage 253 to 81 as well as plays run from scrimmage 47-21. The game featured some long drives for the Falcons but a gutsy performance by the Stallions kept the Falcons from reachign the endzone on several attempts. The defensive effort included three fumble recoveries and two interceptions by the greedy Falcons defense with Adam Gamboa leading the way with two interceptions. Daniel Gillespie, Vincent Carlos and Mitch Kurz recovered fumbles for the Falcons.

The opening drive of the game started with the Falcons at their own 20-yard line. Ten plays later, led by the running offense of Jonathan Duarte, the Falcons drove in to Stallion territory all the way to the 30 yard line. Unfortunately, for the Falcons, the Delano defense stiffened and on the fourth down the Falcons came up short and turned the ball over to the Stallions.

The Stallions then mounted an 11 play drive of their own reaching as deep as the Falcons 20 yard line before Gary Baker made a stop of an end sweep on the fourth down to turn the Stallions away.

The Falcons would again march down the field on a 13 play drive behind the blocking of Joshua Hurtado, Tomas Pennington, Rick Sholander, Adrien Cabrera, Jesus Ragle and Vicente Linarez with running backs David Gomez and Jonathan Duarte trading carries. Again the drive stalled out at the Delano 30 yard line when a fourth down pass from Baker to Kramer Blue fell incomplete.

Holding back the Delano offense, the Falcons regained possession on the Stallions' 36-yard line. It took the falcons only four runs for Duarte to reach the Stallions 10-yard line. From the 10 with 17 seconds remaining in the half, quarterback Gary Baker connected with tight end Kramer Blue on an out pattern who then turned up the field and raced untouched into the endzone to make the score 6-0.

The Falcons led at the close of the half 6-0.

On Delano's first play, of the second half, Daniel Gillepsie recovered a fumble caused by Vincent Carlos at the Stallions 20-yard line. This time, the Falcons offense would not be denied. Consecutive runs by Mitch Kurz had the Falcons pounding at the door from the one yard line. Quarterback Adam Gamboa called his own number and took the ball in to the end zone on a quarterback sneak to put the Falcons up 12-0.

On Delano's next possession, the Falcons' defense stepped up the intensity. On consecutive plays, Rangle and Gillespie caused Delano fumbles in the backfield which Delano recovered to maintain possession. On third and long, Adam Gamboa intercepted his second pass of the game giving the Falcons possession at the 30-yard line late in the fourth quarter.

The Falcons' offense, sensing victory, pounded the ball on runs of seven yards by Duarte, three yards by Gomez, five yards by Jurz and a quarterback sneak by Baker for 12.

From the Stallion 13-yard line, QB Baker faked a sweep and ran a bootleg pass connecting with tight end Vicente Linarez in the End Zone for the final score of the game 18-0.

The Falcons will travel to Reedley High Schol on Saturday for a 3 p.m. Junior Division title game against the Tulare Colts.

The Senior Division Championship will follow pitting Tulare against Delano.

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