Islanders Fall In The Semi-finals ...

Coronado Islander running back Zane Delcore #9 (center) tries to break away from University City defense during their semi-final game against University City Friday, November 19, 2021 at University City High School. The Islanders went on to loss the game 49-15.

Last Friday night’s game between The Islanders and the UC Centurions was going to be a uphill battle for Coronado.. Everyone knew that. Just three prior to last Friday’s match, UC beat the Islanders 60-14.

But following a strong week of practice and game planning, there was real reason to believe the Islanders could flip the script and pull off the road upset vs. the Centurions.

The Islanders would start off the game trailing early after an opening drive TD from UC, and things began to look bleak after the Islanders went three and out on their ensuing possession. 

However, the Islanders defense would step up in a big way following the punt, as on back to back play Finley Alexander would record a tackle for loss and Asa Valdivia would record a key  3rd down sack to get the Islanders off the field.

The Islander’s third down was a big reason things were so tight for much of the first half. As Coronado held UC on third down in the first 16 minutes of the game. Whether it was Alexander, Zane Delcore, Logan Eastlick, or Valdivia, those in green and white uniforms stepped up on third down.

After the defensive stop, the Islanders would be gifted with great field position at the start of the second quarter at UC’s 40-yard line thanks to a shanked punt by the Centurions.

Set up in their opponent’s end of the field the Islander’s offense would get rolling. Following a first-down rush by Delcore, QB Hudson Herber would find Elias Valdivia and Graham Bower for back-to-back 12-yard gains through the air, setting up the Islanders with a goal-to-go situation.

Just one play later, the Islanders would again call on Delcore who would find pay dirt for the 11th time this season and tie the game at 7-7 with 10:04 left to play in the half.

Unfortunately for the Islanders, the touchdown seemed to spark the Centurions as they would rip off 21 unanswered points to give them a 28-7 lead at the half, that could have been larger if not for a nice leaping interception at the end of the half by Graham Bower.

During the Islanders scoring drought at the end of the half, it was a similar issue that seemed to hinder the Islander’s offense the last time they played UC.

They just couldn’t finish drives. Much like their first match-up, Coronado was able to work the ball up the field, but when they crossed the 50, their drives just seemed to stall.

Unfortunately , for the Islanders, the momentum that UC had found late in the second quarter clearly carried over to the second half as UC would score another three times making it a 42-7 game.

Again, Coronado would have their moments and move the ball in the second half, Like a deep connection from Herber to Gunnar Tokin and some nice runs by Delcore and Steven Davis. But they proved to be just sparks, as the Islanders offense just seemed unable to find its footing.

However, before time would run out for the Islanders, they would add one more highlight to the 2021 season. With just 16 seconds left Delcore, as he has done all season long, would bust off a 34-yard TD run to make it a 49-13 game.

Instead of kicking the extra point, the Islanders would go for two, where Herber would throw a fade to the back pillion where Alexander would make a great contested catch. Making it a 49-15 final.

It was a tough way for the 2021 season to end, but it was one that those on the 2021 Islanders squad should take as a success. As a CIF Semifinal appearance is never something to take lightly.

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