Folsom runs past Buhach

slynch@mercedsunstar.comNovember 23, 2012 

— Even with a fast start, Kevin Swartwood was concerned.

His Buhach Colony squad scored on its first two possessions on Friday night, but had to settle for field goals in both.

It was an almost ideal start for the Thunder on the road, but it's tough to keep pace against top-seeded Folsom's mighty offense when you don't finish drives.

The Bulldogs showed Buhach exactly why.

After turning the ball over on downs on its first possession, Folsom scored on six straight. BC couldn't keep pace, producing just six points in its first five trips to the red zone.

The Bulldogs broke the game open with a 28-point fourth quarter and cruised to a 49-22 victory in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 2 semifinal.

Folsom will face Elk Grove in next week's Section title game.

"I loved our energy out of the gate," Swartwood said "We score and get a stop right away. We came out hitting and just like that we're up 6-0.

"But in the back of your mind you're thinking, 'We needed more than field goals.' "

Shane Bell drilled first-quarter field goals of 35 and 30 yards to give the Thunder (10-3) a 6-0 lead early, but Folsom (13-0) wasn't down for long.

The Bulldogs went 80 yards in eight plays with Jake Browning hitting Bailey Laolagi with a 14-yard touchdown pass to put Folsom up 7-6.

It was the start of a big night for both sophomores.

Browning was 15 of 23 for 245 yards and three touchdowns. Laolagi might have been even better. In addition to his receiving score, he rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns on six carries and returned an interception for a score.

Two of those touchdowns came in a disastrous second quarter for the Thunder.

Browning found Troy Knox for a 16-yard TD pass to open the second quarter and put the Bulldogs up 14-6. BC handed them excellent field position on their next series when a botched fake punt on fourth-and-1 from the Thunder 44-yard line turned into a 10-yard loss. Folsom was in the end zone two plays later on a Laolagi 1-yard run.

"Their offense is all timing and rhythm," defensive back Jayce Webster said. "They adjusted to our weaknesses and started exploiting them. Once you let them get into a rhythm, it's pretty hard to get them out of it."

A big kickoff return by Webster gave Buhach the perfect opportunity to answer, starting the Thunder drive at the Folsom 37.

A block in the back call on what would have been a Leon Miles first-down run gave BC a fourth-and-3 at the Folsom 16. The Thunder never got a chance to convert it as a pitch to Miles was fumbled and the Thunder turned it over on downs.

Folsom made them pay as Harry Lipnosky rumbled in for a 10-yard TD run nine plays later to make it 28-6.

Laolagi all but delivered the knockout blow on BC's next possession. The Thunder again marched down into the Folsom red zone, but came away empty. Quarterback Joe Marquez was pressured and tried to throw to the sideline off his back foot.

Laolagi stepped in front of the pass and returned it 88 yards for the score.

"Those last two drives really hurt us," Miles said. "We score and we make it a whole different game.

"We knew we could finish every drive, but little mistakes cost us."

Folsom scored on its first two possessions of the second half before pulling its starting unit with a 49-6 lead.

BC got some consolation scores late on TD runs by Webster and Kevin Kellerher.

"Everyone talks about the Folsom offense, but their defense is underrated," Swartwood said. "We made things a little more respectable late, but they did a good job slowing us down for three quarters."

Sac-Joaquin Section Division 2 playoffs


At Folsom

Buhach Colony 6 0 0 16

Folsom 7 28 14 0

First Quarter

BC -- Shane Bell 35 field goal

BC -- Bell 30 field goal

F -- Bailey Loalagi 14 pass from Jake Browning (Ben Trumm kick)

Second Quarter

F -- Troy Knox 16 pass from Browning (Trumm kick)

F -- Loalagi 1 run (Trumm kick)

F -- Harry Lipnosky 10 run (Trumm kick)

F -- Loalagi 88 interception return (Trumm kick)

Third Quarter

F -- Laolagi 73 run (Trumm kick)

F -- Lipnosky 11 pass from Browning (Trumm kick)

Fourth Quarter

BC -- Jayce Webster 3 run (Felix Borruel pass from Joe Marquez)

BC -- Kevin Kellerher 7 run (Marquez run)

Records: Buhach Colony 10-3; Folsom 13-0.

Buhach Colony's Jayce Webster scores (Shawn Jansen/Merced Sun-Star)

Folsom's Bailey Laolagi scores on 88-yard pick six (Shawn Jansen/Merced Sun-Star)

Buhach Colony's Shane Bell converts field goal (Shawn Jansen/Merced Sun-Star)

Folsom's Troy Knox hauls in a touchdown catch (Shawn Jansen/Merced Sun-Star)

Folsom's Bailey Laolagi scores against Buhach Colony (Shawn Jansen/Merced Sun-Star)

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