Central Catholic coach Roger Canepa said when a team gets a big lead early in a playoff game, it’s hard for its opponent to come back.
That scenario played out in favor of the Raiders on Friday night.
Without senior running back Minaya Olivo, the No. 5 Raiders led No. 12 Tracy, 27-0, after the first quarter en route to a 58-14 victory in the first round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs.
“We do what we do and it’s the next guy up,” Canepa said regarding Olivo’s absence.
Olivo didn’t practice all week after suffering an ankle injury in the regular season finale against Oakdale. Sophomore running back Lyon Colon started in his place.
“In practice, I was tired because it was just me in the rotation but I just put in hard work,” Colon said.
After his defense forced a 3-and-out on Tracy’s first drive, Colon scored on the Raiders’ first play from scrimmage on a 42-yard run. He would add a 2-yard score on the next drive and another 42-yard TD run later in the quarter. He finished with nine carries for 116 yards and three touchdowns.
“It was a great feeling and I knew my time was coming,” Colon said.
Raiders (6-5) senior wide receiver Sithri Price had a 17-yard touchdown reception and senior quarterback Dalton Durossette had two passing touchdowns, both in the first half. Senior wide receiver Frank Clark had a 56-yard punt return for a touchdown to make a 41-0 midway through the second quarter.
With a big lead, Canepa rotated most of his starters out in the second quarter and nearly all of them sat out the second half.
Central Catholic sophomore running back Julian Lopez had five carries for 139 yards and two touchdowns, including two touchdown runs over 50 yards.
Olivo said after the game he expects to be back next week when Central Catholic is at No. 4 Jesuit (5-5) next Saturday at 1 p.m.
“We are in the playoffs and are big trouble for everyone,” Canepa told the team after the game.