Rarely, if ever, has an audience in the Coast Union High School football facility seen a more exceptionally proficient demonstration of offense and defense as folks did Friday night, Oct. 18, “Senior Night,” as the Broncos out-played the tough Toads from Thacher School, winning by a comfortable 42-14 score.
Bushel baskets full of praise are due for the entire team and coaching staff, but in particular the extraordinarily skillful and aggressive play of senior quarterback Angel Avina should be noted. Avina picked up 101 yards rushing on 18 carries and completed 10 of 22 passes for 156 yards and four touchdowns.
On defense Avina was a man on a mission: he administered “three vicious hits on their tailback behind the line of scrimmage" and he added two interceptions on defense, Head Coach Charlie Casale reported.
Sophomore Lane Sutherland was highly effective as middle linebacker — racking up seven solo tackles — and as a rusher he slammed through and around the Toads for 120 yards on 17 carries. For good measure, Sutherland passed once (a 48-yard completion) and caught a pass for 16 yards.
Senior defensive end Chuy Nunez pressured the Toad’s passers all night, had two tackles and alertly recovered two fumbles. The redoubtable senior Danny Rodriguez played with fire in his eyes; he recovered a fumble and had seven tackles. He limped off the field at one point and while it seemed like his injury might prevent him from returning, in short order he was back on the gridiron making plays and inspiring teammates.
From the perspective of the broadcast booth, it appeared that the Broncos were rarely caught by surprise by the Toads; most of the game Coast Union’s defenders seemed to know what was coming.
Asked how he went about preparing his football team, Casale explained that he “scouted” (attended) two Thacher games, and “Our kids spent a lot of hours watching [Thacher] on film.”
Moreover, the coaching staff came up with what Casale called “a terrific defensive game plan.” Because the players “bought into the game plan and had a lot of confidence going into the game,” they came out victorious, the coach continued.
Casale offered praise for defensive linemen Octavio Villavazo, Asher Armstrong, and Alex de Alba, who kept Thacher’s blockers “off our linebackers.”
The Broncos (6-1) play at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, in Santa Barbara against Cate School (5-2).
KTEA-FM (103.5) will broadcast the game live and it will stream on www.ktea-fm.com.
Email John FitzRandolph at firstname.lastname@example.org.