Preps

Thursday, Nov 21 2013 11:07 PM

Falcons KO top-seeded Tulare Western

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    By Michael Alvarez/ Visalia Times Delta

    Tulare Western's Casey Bernardo jumps for the pass as Independence's Jalen Summerville (5) reaches for the block during the Central Section Division III quarterfinal game at Bob Mathias Stadium in Tulare on Nov. 21, 2013.

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    By Michael Alvarez/ Visalia Times Delta

    Tulare Western Joh Drotos (9) brings down Independence Dj Reed (7) during the Central Section Division III quarterfinal game at Bob Mathias Stadium in Tulare on Nov. 21, 2013.

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    By Michael Alvarez/ Visalia Times Delta

    Tulare Western Kobe Portillo (10) gets help from Talven Juarez (3) for extra yards against Independence during the Central Section Division III quarterfinal game at Bob Mathias Stadium in Tulare on Nov. 21, 2013.

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    By Michael Alvarez/ Visalia Times Delta

    Tulare Western's Casey Bernardo tackles Independence during the Central Section Division III quarterfinal game at Bob Mathias Stadium in Tulare on Nov. 21, 2013.

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    By Michael Alvarez/ Visalia Times Delta

    Tulare Western's Daniel Martinho (1) and Noah Salazar (12) bring down Independence during the Central Section Division III quarterfinal game at Bob Mathias Stadium in Tulare on Nov. 21, 2013.

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    By Michael Alvarez/ Visalia Times Delta

    Tulare Western brings down Independence during the Central Section Division III quarterfinal game at Bob Mathias Stadium in Tulare on Nov. 21, 2013.

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By VISALIA TIMES-DELTA

TULARE -- Independence High limited top-seeded Tulare Western to 69 yards of total offense in the second half on the way to a 21-7 upset victory in a Central Section Division III football playoff quarterfinal.

The 9th-seeded Falcons (4-6) held the Mustangs (7-4) to just 4 yards rushing on six carries, with four first downs, after halftime at Bob Mathias Stadium.

Tulare Western scored on the game's opening possession on a 13-yard touchdown run by quarterback Kobe Portillo. It stayed 7-0 in the Mustangs' favor until the final stages of the second quarter.

Tulare Western made a couple of costly mistakes on a possession that started deep inside its territory. The most damaging miscue was a fumble inside the 10-yard-line that was kicked out of the end zone for a safety.

On the ensuing series following the free kick, Independence put together a five-play, 51-yard scoring drive to take an 8-7 lead with 30 seconds left before halftime.

Tulare Western's misfortune continued to begin the third quarter. The Falcons' Paul Fields picked off a Portillo pass and returned it to the Mustang 1. Independence quarterback Jordan Wiley scored on a 1-yard sneak to extend the Falcons' lead to 15-7.

Wiley was 16-of-22 passing for 181 yards and two touchdowns. Dennis Reed caught both touchdown passes for 16 and 19 yards, respectively.

Independence next will visit the winner of tonight's matchup between No. 5 Dinuba (7-3) and No. 4 South (8-2).

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