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Isaac Oliva sets tone as Foothill rolls past Centennial

After Foothill opened up its 2017 football season Friday, it didn’t take long to find a gift that kept on giving in the form of senior running back Isaac Oliva.

In fact, it took exactly one play.

Oliva took a handoff on the first play from scrimmage against Centennial and promptly raced 70 yards for a touchdown.

That set the tone, as Oliva finished with two rushing scores along with a receiving TD as the Falcons soared to a 26-0 victory in their home opener.

Oliva said the long early touchdown run didn’t come as a surprise to him.

“That’s how I planned it, to set the momentum for the team,” said Oliva, who finished with 13 carries for 161 yards. “I got it going. That was something I wanted to do.”

Foothill kept it going with 5:34 left in the first quarter, as quarterback Koy Riggin connected with Braedan Wilson on a 53-yard TD pass to make it 13-0.

That turned out to be more than enough for the Falcon defense, who kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard and limited Centennial to 116 yards on offense.

Junior safety Jordan Blakely set the defensive tone, coming up with two of the three Bulldog turnovers the Falcons forced in the game.

Blakely’s diving interception with 8:49 left in the second quarter set up Oliva’s second score, as four plays later he rumbled into the end zone from 5 yards out to give Foothill a 20-0 lead.

“The interception was about being at the right place at the right time. Reading the quarterback’s eyes and making a diving catch for a big interception on that,” said Blakely, who also came up with a fumble recovery in the game. “I think we will average about three turnovers a game this year.”

Oliva capped the scoring for the night with a 10-yard TD run in the third quarter. That score was prefaced by a 50-yard run for the back that set the Falcons up on the Centennial 12.

“Our running game just kept pushing, with the linemen doing great blocking and Isaac just making big plays for us,” said Blakely. “We knew what we were going to do against them to get the (win) tonight.”

While Oliva set the tone early for the game, Blakely said he was confident Friday’s victory would set the direction for the Falcons for the year.

“It was a good way to start the season and set the tone for everybody,” said Blakely. “It was great. We think we are one of the top 10 teams in the city right now. We want to make a statement the rest of the season.”

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