It was a picture-perfect evening last Friday, Oct. 8, for football and to celebrate Coronado High’s Homecoming. The Islanders, riding a five-game winning streak, hosted the Cavers from San Diego High in their first City League match-up of the season.
Coronado received the opening kick off and seemed to move the ball at will. Running back Zane Delacore zig-zagged his way for a 25-yard gain on the second play of the drive followed by Hudson Bartell’s power run for 12 more. The ball was in San Diego territory and the Islanders were on the move. But when quarterback Hudson Herber scrambled left and tried to thread a pass to his receiver, a Caver cornerback intercepted the ball and took it back for a “pick six” and San Diego had an early 7-0 lead.
On the ensuing drive, Herber found tight end Danny Couts for a 9-yard gain and a quarterback sneak netted another Coronado first down. Then on third and 11, Herber connected with Elias Valdivia for a gain of 15. The drive stalled and ‘Nado was forced to punt. On offense San Diego introduced their potent running attack and on the third play Thomas Jones broke around right end for a 68-yard touchdown sprint. Coronado blocked the PAT making the score 13-0 midway through the first quarter. On the last play of the period, Coronado’s defense came alive and stopped the Cavers on a third and five. The Islander special teams came up big again when Delacore broke through the line blocking San Diego’s punt with the ball bouncing all the way to the 16-yard line. Delacore wasn’t through, when on the first snap, he weaved his way into the end zone and Coronado was on the board 13-7.
The Cavers kept the ball on the ground and methodically moved the ball into the red zone. From the 19, their quarterback rolled out left, made one cut and scampered into the end zone making the score 19-7. Coronado knew they had to make some adjustments on defense to keep the bigger and faster Cavers tamed. The defense answered the call on San Diego’s next possession by sticking the running back behind the line of scrimmage, forcing a fumble recovered by Coronado. On third and 8 from the 30-yard line, Herber found Couts for a 25-yard gain to the 5-yard line. One play later, Delacore took the sweep lateral around the right side and into the end zone, making the score 19-14 with 6:05 left in the second quarter. San Diego answered back with their punishing ground game getting multiple chunk yardage plays. Thomas Jones broke free again for a 35-yard touchdown run, which left the score 27-14 at halftime.
The third quarter is one Coronado would like to forget. San Diego’s ground game continued to build momentum. Their opening drive consisted of four long runs resulting in a touchdown and 2-point conversion. Coronado mounted a drive of their own with a 12-yard burst by Herber and a 15 yard strike to Couts to move the ball to midfield. But disaster struck when San Diego forced a fumble that was scooped up and returned for another defensive touchdown putting the game out of reach at 42-14. Highlights for Coronado in the second half included a Finley Alexander sack for a 14-yard loss and Gunnar Tonkin’s fumble recovery. This homecoming game was not kind to the Islanders with the final score being 56-14.
This week Coronado travels to Patrick Henry for another City League match-up. Kick-off is Friday at 7 p.m.