Mission Prep seizes control of Northern League with win over Nipomo
Mission Prep quarterback Bryce Fledderman’s stat line from last season’s 36-0 loss to Nipomo was the stuff of nightmares.
16 of 39, 130 yards, 0 touchdowns, 3 interceptions.
But when Fledderman lies down to go to sleep Friday night, there will be nothing but sweet dreams after his perfect first half led Mission Prep to a 24-7 win over Nipomo on Friday night and put the Royals on the fast track to a Northern League title.
“It was so much fun,” Fledderman said following the win. “In the first half, it seemed like magic.”
The 6-foot-4 junior reached into his bag of tricks in the first half and pulled out nine completions in a row, three of which went for touchdowns to give Mission Prep (6-2, 2-0 Northern League) a 21-0 halftime lead.
“I’ve never had a game like that,” Fledderman said smiling, shaking his head. He completed 10 passes before his first incompletion and ended the game 17 of 24 for 264 yards.
Fledderman said he was thinking about last season’s performance against Nipomo heading into Friday night and carried the game with him like a chip on his shoulder.
“It’s a big difference going from three interceptions and no touchdowns to three touchdowns and no interceptions,” Fledderman said. “It was huge.”
“I felt great from the first snap.”
On the first offensive play for Mission Prep, Fledderman threw a dart to Sal LaCasto that went for 50 yards. The next play was a run to Brayden Corona, and the third play was a perfectly thrown ball up the seam to a wide-open Matthew Simmons. Touchdown. Three plays, 80 yards.
“I just knew from then on, we we’re good for this game,” Fledderman said.
But it hasn’t always been easy for Fledderman since he was inserted as the starter last season. After a rough sophomore campaign, it has been a steady improvement for Fledderman as the 2015 season has progressed. Two weeks ago, in a win against Templeton, Fledderman had his best completion percentage in 16 games as a starter, completing 63 percent of his passes. In the past two Mission Prep wins, he completed over 70 percent of his passes.
“This is what we expected from him,” Mission Prep coach Chad Henry said.
Henry made note of Fledderman’s third touchdown pass of the night, a quick pass to running back Brayden Corona that went for a 28-yard score, as a sign of his development.
“They blitzed on us and he stood in there and took a hit, he threw it in the first window instead of waiting for the play to develop a little bit longer,” said Henry, a former quarterback at Cal Poly. “He did some of the little things really well.”
“He played like a man tonight. Really next level stuff.”
Henry, and Fledderman, each acknowledge that a lack of confidence has crept in during big games in the past, but on Friday night as Fledderman celebrated with his teammates, that feeling was as far away as last season’s loss.
“I feel so great and confident,” Fledderman said. “All my teammates just making plays, making me look good.”