The rugged mountains of the Los Padres forest provide a dramatic backdrop to the plush, sprawling sports facilities at Cate School on the northeast corner of Carpinteria. On Saturday afternoon, Oct. 26, as the Coast Union High School bus pulled in, the Broncos and their coaches knew it would take a rugged, tough-as-nails effort to defeat the always hard-hitting, talented Rams.
Moreover, there was a powerful element of retribution in the air for Coast Union’s players as they made their way from the bus to the gridiron, because not a single Bronco had forgotten the 62-15 whipping the Rams dealt them at Coast’s 2012 homecoming game.
As if they needed to be reminded of that embarrassment, several Broncos heard a Cate player call out to his teammates, “Remember what we did to them last year at their homecoming.” According to senior Alex de Alba, “That just fired us up even more than we already were.”
Indeed, with fire in their eyes and a well-balanced game plan in their heads, the Broncos proceeded to deliver some serious payback to Cate, 55-34.
Leading the charge on offense was quarterback Angel Avina, who connected on 15 of his 24 passes for 255 yards and four touchdowns.
Avina, a gifted runner, rushed 17 times for 140 yards and a touchdown. The senior signal-caller has passed for 1,440 yards this season and rushed for 896 yards.
Sophomore Lane Sutherland — who runs with the force of a battering ram but once in the open can outrun most defenders — crossed the goal line three times and gained 145 yards on 19 carries.
Senior receiver Quinten Raethke caught eight passes for 130 yards and scored three touchdowns. Raethke, who has the strength and height to leap high and muscle the ball away from would-be defenders, caught the last Bronco touchdown late in the fourth quarter. And on the Rams’ next possession, Raethke used his skills to intercept a pass and basically seal the game.
Emmany Godinez caught seven passes for 125 yards and scored a touchdown, the senior receiver’s seventh TD this season; he has picked up 505 yards for Coast in 2013.
Asked for his comments on the victory, Head Coach Charlie Casale said, “We were able to mix up the run and pass … we wanted to slow them down and tackle well.” Casale certainly did his homework on Cate, having personally scouted the Rams twice. “They are a good team and well coached,” he explained.
As good as the offense was for Coast Union, the defense was pivotal in the victory. Casale awarded senior stalwart Chuy Nunez with “Overall Player of the Game” for his “excellent blocking from the fullback position on offense” and for his five tackles on defense.
Casale gave the “Offensive Player of the Game” to lineman de Alba; the senior “Opened up a lot of holes up front and did an excellent job of pass blocking,” the coach explained. Senior center and defensive standout Grant Magnuson was named “Defensive Player of the Game” for his four tackles and pressure on the Rams’ offense.
The 7-1 Broncos finish the regular season at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, in Ojai as they take on the 2-6 Villanova Prep Wildcats. The game can be heard live on KTEA-FM (103.5) and streams live on www.ktea-fm.com.