Paloma Valley Cruises Past Colony in CIF Quarterfinals

Head coach Bert Esposito addresses his happy players after their 56-14 playoff victory over Colony....

Head coach Bert Esposito addresses his happy players after their 56-14 playoff victory over Colony.
The Paloma Valley Wildcats may have stumbled a bit late in the Sunbelt League season, but they are once again mauling opponents on the football field.

The Wildcats, who opened the season 5-0 before going 2-3 in league play, scored virtually at will Friday night in scoring a 56-14 home victory over Colony High of Ontario in the second round of the CIF-SS Central Division playoffs.

Now 9-3 overall, Paloma Valley added to an impressive scoring total in which it has now outscored the opposition 479-165 this season. The Wildcats figure to have all claws extended next Friday in the semifinals against Rancho Verde, a 42-40 winner over Elsinore Friday night.

That game will be played at Paloma Valley, where the Wildcats are 5-1 this season.

"Our confidence is great right now, but I kind of like being the underdog," coach Bert Esposito said about the Wildcats, who entered the playoffs as an at-large team. "We play well that way. We have to; we're not as athletic as everyone else."

Try telling that to Colony's Titans, who were outmatched from the beginning. Paloma Valley scored on the first drive of the game on a 4-yard run by Steven Mayo, led 21-0 after one quarter and 42-0 at halftime. Colony (7-5) finally got on the scoreboard in the third quarter with a 29-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Devin Imbach to Robert Velasco, but it wasn't long until the game was being played with a running clock because of the lop-sided margin.

Paloma Valley quarterback Brent Boehm completed 10 of 16 passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns -- a 3-yard pass to RJ Benz and an 18-yard pass to running back David Solis.

Although he was held out of the game until late in the first quarter, Solis finished with 59 yards and two touchdowns rushing in addition to the TD catch. Boehm rushed for 82 yards and CJ Parker ran for 51.

"I figured we would play well, but when you're facing such an athletic team, you never know until the middle of the first quarter what's going to happen," Esposito said. "We've always believed we could do it, but we had a couple stumbles. The guys weren't used to being 5-0. I'm not saying they were egotistical, but they had to get their confidence back."

Mission accomplished.