At the same time the Coast Union team charter was navigating through heavy Los Angeles traffic Friday, Sept. 21, on the way to San Pedro to play the Rolling Hills Huskies, the space shuttle Endeavour was putting on a breathtaking show in the skies above.
Bolted to the top of a sturdy 747, Endeavor was making its final flight, returning to the city where it was built and strutting its cosmic stuff in a dramatic “thank you” from NASA to the taxpayers in the sprawling megalopolis below.
While hundreds of thousands of gawkers staked out positions around the southland— hoping for a glimpse as Endeavor crisscrossed the skies from the Queen Mary to the Hollywood sign and many points between, after passing over Cambria about 11:11 a.m. — the Broncos were hoping to continue their three-game winning streak.
Early in the first quarter it was apparent the Broncos were by far the superior team for the fourth straight week. On the lush green football field, which Endeavour had flown directly over (after buzzing the Queen Mary nearby) an hour earlier, the down-to-earth Coast Union squad easily handled an onside opening kickoff by the Huskies — and four plays later Luis De Alba scampered into the end zone.
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After Austin Eide rumbled in for the two-point conversion, the Broncos kicked off and in short order the Huskies fumbled it back to Coast Union near the Huskies goal line. Grateful for the generosity, Coast Union signal-caller Nolan Baldwin handed the ball to Alex Bautista and he scored the first of his three touchdowns.
The game was barely five minutes old and Coast Union was already coasting 16-0. In the next series of downs Rolling Hills fumbled again and after quarterback Baldwin
crossed the goal line — and Lane Sutherland ran for the two-pointer — the Broncos were dominating, 24-0.
By this time in the first quarter, the fans on hand, the coaches, the players, and those listening to the game on the radio back on the Central Coast knew that this was a mismatch.
Given that reality, early in the second quarter Bronco head coach Chuck Garcia urged the officials to keep the clock running — invoking the “mercy rule”—and, while the game continued to be one-sided (final score, 59-20), the Huskies’ agony was at least condensed to a shorter time frame.
The upside to a lopsided game like this one is that every player on board that chartered bus had chances to play.
The downside to a blowout game, according to Garcia, is that “it’s hard to know how good you really are.” Still, the Broncos expect to pass and run efficiently against this Friday’s home opponent, the Dunn Earwigs from Los Olivos.
Albeit the Broncos have only put the ball in the air 20 times thus far this season— when the running game is blowing opponents away, passing to run up the score is not good sportsmanship — Friday night will be different, according to Garcia.
“We’re making a commitment this week to throwing the football. We’re going to be tested this week but it should be a good football game,” Garcia explained. The Earwigs “are kind of tricky … but we’re prepared for it. From a speed standpoint and a physical standpoint, we’ll be able to match up with them very well.”
Unofficially, Binh Trieu led all Broncos with three tackles at Rolling Hills. Other players showing skills on defense include: Dylan Vialpando, Lane Sutherland, Alexis Mireles, Michel Gonzalez, Tommy Moreno, Jesus Lopez, along with several others.
On offense, Alex Bautista scored three touchdowns, Juan Leonardo scored twice, Baldwin (whose father, Glen Baldwin, helped serve water and Gatorade to keep the team hydrated during time-outs) and Luis De Alba each had one score. Emmany Godinez kicked four extra points and Bautista boomed some long kickoffs as well.
NASA won’t be sending a space shuttle to put on a sky show above Cambria during Friday’s 7 p.m. home game, Sept. 28, and Garcia won’t be shuttling reserves in and out of the game as often as he does against weaker opponents. But the head coach is promising fans they will be treated to an air show nonetheless, as quarterbacks Baldwin and Bautista are expected to send plenty of passes to their receivers downfield.
The game streams live on www.ktea-fm.comand can be heard on KMGQ-FM (103.5).