The opening of the 2018 season did not go well for the Coast Union High School football team. The Broncos were blanked 41-0 by Riverdale Christian Academy on Saturday in the scorching 93-degree heat in the San Joaquin Valley.
Coaches don’t like to use the heat as an excuse, but clearly by the second half, the Broncos’ body language showed they were struggling. In an interview prior to the game, Riverdale’s head coach, Chuck Stevenson, said,
“This is why they call it home-field advantage; we practice in the heat all week, but it can be stressful for teams from the cooler coastal climate,” Riverdale head coach Chuck Stevenson said before the game.
The very young Broncos team — seven of the 18 players are freshmen — also faced a quicker and more sizeable squad.
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The game did offer new head coach Andrew Crosby an opportunity to see how his players would respond to adversity.
Freshman Emi Pena was the Broncos leading rusher with 21 yards — testament to how tough the Riverdale defense was. Quarterback Emany Plasencia rushed for just 18 yards. He was hit behind the line of scrimmage numerous times, and was often thwarted in attempts to run wide to the right, to either throw the ball or carry it.
Plasencia did pass for 124 yards.
Sophomore Cristian Castillo had 118 receiving yards and was without question the outstanding player of the game for Coast Union. He leaped high for passes, dove to make catches, all while being blanketed by aggressive Riverdale defenders, The 6-foot Castillo utilized his long arms and sure hands to make plays.
The next game for Coast Union is another non-league tilt Friday, Sept. 7, at Laton High School. The 7 p.m. game will be broadcast on KTEA-FM (103.5) and streamed live on 1035ktea.com.