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Loss leaves Sierra College at 0-2 in conference

By: Cecil Conley, Sports Editor
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Jeff Tisdel does not expect any sympathy cards. His Sierra College football team has had its way with the Valley Conference the past three years, but the tables are turning against the Wolverines. Sierra’s shot at a fourth consecutive conference championship came to an end Saturday afternoon. Fresno City may now be the team to beat after rallying for a 24-14 victory in the Rocklin rain. The Rams are 2-0 and the Wolverines 0-2. The conference race with continue with Sierra as an also-ran. “No one is going to feel sorry for us,” Tisdel said. “Everybody wants to stick a fork in us when we’re down.” Sierra lost more than for the fourth time in seven games this season. The defeat also cost the Wolverines their best wide receiver, Taylor Schablaske, and best offensive lineman, Casey O’Connor. Schablaske sustained a concussion on the last play of the first quarter when he caught a punt and was smacked. O’Connor went out in the third quarter with a torn ligament in his left ankle. “We don’t have many bullets left in the gun,” said Tisdel, who was also without his best running back – Zack Graves – for the second week in a row. Graves has a torn ligament in his left knee. Sierra scored touchdowns on two of its first three possessions, but the offense struggled after that. Quarterback Sam Martinez threw an interception and lost a fumble in his first start in five weeks. Martinez regained the job this week after losing it to Tanner Mathias in the second game of the season. Tisdel had mentioned he might play both quarterbacks, but he stuck with Martinez. “He wasn’t that awful,” Tisdel said. “And he had a couple of passes dropped.” The Wolverines also had problems on defense. The Rams converted four third downs in which they needed 12 or more yards to move the chains. In the second quarter, a 5-yard loss on first down and a sack on second left Fresno City with third-and-19 at Sierra’s 34-yard line. The Wolverines’ defense was one play away from forcing a punt. That punt never came. Corvaughn Archie turned a screen pass from Lance Orender into a touchdown. Archie did it again on Fresno City’s next possession, turning another screen pass into an 84-yard score. Archie caught the ball on the left, weaved his way across the field and then dashed along the right sideline. His fancy footwork put Fresno City ahead to stay at 17-14. Sierra was not only shut out in the second half, but the Wolverines also did not touch the ball in the final 9:24.