Last Friday was yet another test for the Coronado Islanders football team. Going on the road to face another league opponent in the Morse Tigers, the Islanders hoped to have better luck in this league match-up than they had in their previous two weeks of play.
The game remained close for much of the first quarter, thanks in large part to the Islanders front seven play, especially JT Nelson, Asa Valdivia, Finley Alexander and Zane Delcore, who all did a great job of getting inside push and clogging running lanes.
The Tigers ran the triple option offense that many teams find hard to prepare for due to it being so infrequently utilized. However, the Islanders had previously seen this offensive scheme when they played Santana earlier this year and the Islanders were able to dominate that particular game. The scheme was one they were certainly familiar with.
After a slow first that saw the Islanders trail 6-0, Coronado would quickly respond in the second half. After a pair of roughing the passer penalties by Morse, the Islanders moved the ball into the red zone where they would capitalize, thanks to a physical run by Delcore making it a 6-6 game early in the second quarter.
Just when things looked as if they were starting to roll in the Islander favor, the Tigers flipped the script. After defending the wishbone so well, the Tigers switched up their scheme to incorporate a bit of play action, an adjustment that would pay huge dividends and give Morse two touchdowns on two consecutive touchdown drives and put the Islanders behind 22-6 at the half.
But while the offense had some hiccups in the first half, they would adjust well in the second half to make things more interesting. The Islanders would deny the Tigers’ trick play, with Elias Valdivia recovering an onside kick from a fake punt on a fourth down, 11 to go. While the drive would ultimately stall, it did appear to spark the Islanders sideline.
On the ensuing Tigers possession, that energy would be even more evident as Delcore would force a fumble and give the Islanders the ball at the Morse 36 yard line. Four plays later Graham Bower, who was in at quarterback for injured Hudson Herber, tossed a dime to Donny Coutts to set up first and goal at the one yard line. One play later Herber would come back in and punch it into the end zone on a quarterback sneak to make it a 22-12 game heading to the fourth.
But it seemed for every punch the Islanders threw, Morse would respond. This case would be no different as following the Islanders score Morse would add another touchdown to make it 28-12.
The Islanders weren’t done punching back yet. The Islanders would respond with what would be their most efficient drive of the night. Herber would go 5/6 for 66 yards, four of which were hauled in, Elias Valdivia quickly moved the Islanders into the red zone where Delcore would yet again find pay dirt and make it a 28-18 game with 8:14 to play.
Unfortunately for Coronado, this is the closest the game would come for the remainder of the night. Morse would use its ground game to chew a ton of time off the clock and add another score to put the game out of reach and bring us to our final score of 36-20.
This coming Friday the Islanders will play their final game of the 2021 season at home versus University City at 7 p.m.