After playing Fresno Christian to a stalemate in the first half, the Coast Union football team watched their opponents pull away to a 38-8 victory in the opening game of the season Friday night, Sept. 4, on the Broncos’ field.
The two teams were even at 8-8 going into the second half of this nonconference contest, but the Eagles pounced on opportunities (fumbles, interceptions), and the Broncos’ offense struggled to sustain drives, leading to the lopsided score.
The Eagles’ stingy defense held Coast to an unofficial total of 105 rushing yards and 136 passing yards. Starting quarterback Alexis Mireles carried eight times for just 13 yards, and Lane Sutherland rushed 19 times for 62 yards. Danny Corona picked up 8 yards on a couple of carries, and Quang Trieu added 22 on three carries.
Mireles, who was limping and left the game during the second half, completed just 4 of 19 passes for 78 yards. The quarterback tried often to go deep to his receivers, but inexperience in game situations and a lack of timing with his receivers resulted in many of Mireles’ long balls being overthrown.
Never miss a local story.
Sutherland replaced Mireles at quarterback late in the second half, but he only completed 4 of his 15 aerials for 58 yards.
First-year head coach Thom Holt said there is always “a huge jump in improvement from the first game to the second,” and his goal during practice this week (which began on Labor Day) is to fine-tune the pass-and-catch dynamic. He also reported that the Broncos will be working on holding blocks longer, avoiding “unforced penalties” and keeping drives alive.
Notwithstanding the sting from the defeat, the coach indicated that his team is “positive” and said they were “motivated to practice early morning on Labor Day.” He was pleased that the offensive line blocked well and that the defense stepped up in terms of tackling, which he said has “improved from last year.”
Roberto Quintero, who had an interception and caught a pass for the Broncos’ only touchdown, tied Jack MacKinnon for the team lead in tackles; each had five solo tackles and one assist. William Azevedo, Warren Smith and Riley Kennedy each had three tackles. Kennedy also recovered a fumble for the Broncos. Octavio Villalvazo, Danny Corona and Roberto Cueva each contributed a pair of tackles.
Holt summed up the game by saying his players “fought hard, not for me, but for their school and brothers on the field. They played like Broncos, and I hope the community will see that.”