Pierce ousted by Willows in OT
Maxwell falls to Portola
The No. 1-ranked Pierce High football team took its undefeated season into the Northern Section Division III semifinals at home against No. 4 Willows on Friday — the same team that knocked the Bears out of the postseason last year.
It happened again, and by the slimmest of margins — 3-0.
Andy Corona rushed for 150 yards, and despite nearly doubling the Honkers' offensive output for the game, the Bears came up short — one inch short.
"I thought we scored on third-and-1 and again on fourth-and-1, but (the refs) didn't give it to us," said a disheartened Scott Burnum, Pierce's coach.
Tied 0-0 in overtime, Pierce thought they had crossed the goal line on two occasions. Willows then moved the ball to kick the game-winning field goal to escape Arbuckle with a victory.
Pierce finished the season 11-1.
Portola 35, Maxwell 25
In Portola — For the second consecutive season, Maxwell was ousted from the playoffs by Portola.
The No. 2-seeded Tigers built a 25-6 halftime lead and held off a second-half rally by the No. 3 Panthers, hanging on for a victory in the Northern Section Division IV semifinals.
Maxwell (8-4) cut Portola's lead to 32-25 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but the Tigers kicked a late field goal to put the game out of reach.
Blake Vierra and George Barajas each had two rushing touchdowns in the loss for the Panthers.