The Coast Union High School football team routed Valley Christian Academy on its own field Friday night, Oct. 25, to capture the Coast Valley League championship for the first time since 2014.
It was particularly sweet and ironic for Coast: The Broncos lost the crown on the last game the past two seasons — beaten by Valley Christian both times. The Broncos’ 61-30 victory Friday came within a whisker of exactly turning the tables from last year; in 2018, the Lions bested Coast, 61-29.
The Broncos led 33-23 at halftime, but when their onside kick failed at the start the second half, the Lions had the ball and an opportunity to seize the momentum on their homecoming night. But Coast’s defense put enormous pressure on the Lions’ quarterback, and VCA could only muster a single score the rest of the way.
This well-coached, fired-up Broncos were powered by a sensational rushing exhibition put on by senior Damien Fernandez, who chewed up 229 yards and crossed the goal line three times. Even when the Lions appeared to anticipate Fernandez getting the ball, they struggled to bring him down.
Quarterback Emany Plasencia rushed for 110 yards, scored twice, kicked a 50-yard field goal and six extra points. Cristian Castillo caught passes for 113 yards, scored a touchdown on a 65-yard pass play and intercepted a Lions’ pass.
Emi Pena scored twice and rushed for 72 yards. On defense, Spencer Magnuson had eight tackles and three assists; Pena, Castillo and Plasencia each had five tackles; Bibiano Fernandez, Dillyn Barbosa, Diego Fernandez and Miguel Ramirez each nabbed two tackles for Coast.
The penalty flags flew frequently in this game, and unofficially Coast got called for 12 infractions while the Lions were flagged six times. Asked about his team’s penalties, Coast head coach Andrew Crosby answered in an email interview:
“When you have guys that are eager to play hard, I think the referees start looking for ways that we are gaining an edge rather than letting both teams play football.”
Offensive coordinator Charlie Casale added: “Both teams were playing hard. We were both playing for a championship. Aggressive play will cause a few more penalties. Our boys rose to the occasion.”
After a bye week, the Broncos will learn Nov. 4 when, where and against whom they will play their first CIF post-season game since 2013.
“We are looking forward toward the playoffs,” Casale said.
Season comes to an end for girls volleyball
The postseason ended quickly for Coast Union’s volleyball team as they were swept at home, 3-0 (14-25, 20-25, 17-25), Thursday, Oct. 24, by Oakwood School, a private school located in North Hollywood.
It was Coast’s opening CIF Division 8 playoff match.
Coast, 10-2 in the Coast Valley League, had forged a three-way tie for the CVL title with Coastal Christian and San Luis Obispo Classical Academy. But following a bye, they hosted Oakwood.