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).