Coast Union pounded the Concordia Cougars on Friday night, Nov. 8, in a CIF Southern Section playoff game, 76-14. When the Broncos opened up a 48-0 lead after the first quarter at home, it was obvious the Cougars were demoralized, defeated and totally out of sync.
The drubbing resulted from the obvious imbalance of talent between the two teams. But there is an aspect to this story that more fully explains the lopsided score.
Apparently four or five of the varsity starters for Concordia — including their star quarterback — were reportedly recently suspended from the team for academic-related reasons, according to play-by-play radio announcer Steve Spisak. As a result, the coach had to put a linebacker in the quarterback position, a little like asking an airport shoe-shine guy to fly a Boeing 777.
The results were never in doubt, according to Spisak, although Spisak said the Cougars were “very good sportsmen and never gave up even when down to 11 players.”
The starting Bronco varsity players were rested for much of the game so Head Coach Charlie Casale could use underclassmen like Alam Ramirez, who carried the ball 17 times for 121 yards and a touchdown. Casale named Ramirez Overall Most Valuable Player. Jack McKinnon added three tackles.
Sophomore quarterback Alexis Mirales “scored two touchdowns and led the team well,” Casale explained. Sophomore fullback Jimmy Welch “ran well” and sophomores Asher Armstrong and Octavio Villavazo “played very well on the defensive line,” Casale reported.
The head coach said he was “not surprised” with the quality of play by the underclassmen because “they work hard in practice every day.”
The varsity regulars did well in the short time they were on the field. Senior Juan Leonardo ran 10 times for 117 yards and a pair of scores. Leonardo was named Offensive Player of the Game.
Sophomore Lane Sutherland gained 82 yards on eight carries and scored a touchdown. Binh Trieu scored two touchdowns and picked up 101 yards on a dozen carries.
Talk about making the most of your chances: Fullback and defensive standout Chuy Nunez carried the ball only twice for a total of four yards and yet he scored two touchdowns for Coast Union.
Senior receiver Quinten Raethke returned two kickoffs for 40 yards and caught a pair of passes for 14 yards and crossed the goal line in the bargain. Michel Gonzalez had two tackles, Armstrong had four tackles, Danny Rodriguez had a pair of tackles and a sack of the quarterback, and Tommy Moreno had four tackles.
And senior lineman Grant Magnuson blocked a Cougar punt and fell on it for a touchdown, his first of the season.