Coast Union football fans had plenty to celebrate about Friday night, Oct. 10, as the Broncos put on an exciting performance in a 69-12 rout of Valley Christian Academy on the Coast Union campus.
In their first Coast Valley League contest, the young Broncos dominated the visiting Lions, ending Coast’s five-game losing streak and gaining an important psychological lift heading into the last two games of the season.
Leading the Broncos’ offensive surge on a crisp, cool autumn night was senior Binh Trieu, who gained 187 yards and scored three touchdowns. Trieu, who has been struggling with an injured ankle, sat out most of the second half, but his freshman brother, Quang Trieu, thrilled the fans with four carries for 26 yards in his first live action as a varsity player.
Since his team was so dominant throughout the game, coach Bill Clough had an opportunity to get all his varsity players into the game, including 5-foot-6, 150-pound freshman Eric Robins, who carried the ball twice for 44 yards and triggered a huge roar in the bleachers when he darted 33 yards into the end zone for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
Junior Lane Sutherland continued to excel, picking up 131 yards on 14 carries, notching a pair of touchdowns, and making four solo tackles on defense. Junior quarterback Alexis Mirales threw for 93 yards and a touchdown, and scored a touchdown on the ground.
Seniors Jack McAvoy (six solo tackles) and Gehrig Kniffen (four solo tackles) provided solid defense; Kniffen also had an interception and knocked Lions’ passes to the ground. Senior receiver Tommy Moreno caught three passes for 83 yards and a touchdown and took a kickoff back 70 yards for a score.
Sophomore Danny Corona ran 44 yards with an interception and logged two solo tackles. Several Broncos had outstanding defensive games, including juniors Asher Armstrong, Juan Carlos Fernandez, Octavio Villavazo, Roberto Quintero and Jimmy Welch.
Clough was pleased that “finally … we played really well. The team we played was a little inferior, but we made the plays we needed to make and showed how we are capable of playing.”
Referring to his use of several freshmen, Clough noted that it is the coaches’ job “to protect them: I didn’t put them in until I was sure they would be OK.
“All the freshmen played and they did pretty good,” he added. “They were all fired up, and that was kind of a neat thing to see.”
Clough said that because Mirales faced less pressure from the defense at quarterback than he had in earlier games, allowing him to throw with a lot more confidence: “He is capable, and he looked pretty sharp, and that was nice to see.”
Given that the team now has an bye week — the next game is Homecoming on October 24 — Clough said talented running back Binh Trieu will have plenty of time to more fully heal his troublesome ankle. “I’ll keep him out of practice this week — there’s no reason to have him out there,” Clough said.
“And the whole team will only practice a couple days this week, so we’ll be ready to continue working next week.”
NEXT WEEK'S GAME
The Broncos have a bye this week before returning to action the following week at home.
What: Maricopa (0-1, 1-4) at Coast Union (1-0, 1-5)
When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24
Media: Broadcast on KTEA-FM (103.5), live streaming on www.ktea-fm.com.