The Coast Union High School football team got the season off to a spirited start by dominating the visiting Laguna Blanca Owls on Friday night Aug. 30, 55-8. The licking the Owls received served as something of a payback for the last four blowout games Coast Union suffered at the hands of this private school in Santa Barbara.
In the last four games against the Owls, Coast was humbled 62-44, 44-0, 58-0 and 60-36.
On a windless and warm late-summer evening in Cambria, with athletic director Andrew Crosby in his second season as head coach, and the venerable Charlie Casale as offensive coordinator, the team played tough, tight defense, taking advantage of the Owls’ fumbles and faulty snaps.
The Broncos scored early and often.
Senior quarterback Emany Plasencia picked up where he left off last season, scoring three touchdowns and scampering for 242 rushing yards. In the first half, Plasencia appeared to be stopped short of a first down on a quarterback sneak. But he kept grinding, pushed a tackler out of the way and sprinted 56 yards for a touchdown.
Shifty senior running back Damien Fernandez turned on the speed to gain 128 yards and score three touchdowns. Junior receiver Cristian Castillo caught five passes — including acrobatic grabs — for 128 yards.
Freshman signal caller Caiden Kennedy — at 5-foot-1, 115 pounds and the younger brother of former quarterback Riley Kennedy — led the team to its eight touchdown, which was scored by Pena.
Broncos defense sparkles
Sophomore Emi Pena was credited with eight tackles; he also scored the eight Broncos touchdown from the 1-yard line. Plasencia added six tackles; and 6-foot, 230-pound senior Spencer Magnuson put constant pressure on the Owls quarterback and grabbed five tackles.
Sophomore Angel Reyes and Castillo each had four tackles. Junior Bibiano Mercado had three tackles and a fumble recovery. Senior Gabriel Terrasas and freshman Diego Fernandez each chipped in with three tackles.
The Broncos travel to Monterey on Saturday, Sept. 7, to play Trinity Christian High School in an 11 a.m. game. Last season, Coast lost to the Warriors in Monterey, 47-42.
The Broncos return home to entertain Riverdale Christian High School on Friday, Sept. 13, a 7 p.m. game. The Ambassadors shut out Coast Union last year in Riverdale, 41-0.
All Coast Union football games are broadcast on KTEA-FM (103.5); they stream live on www.1035ktea.com.