Islanders Rally To Defeat Crawford 29-22 In Homecoming Game - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado Sports

Islanders Rally To Defeat Crawford 29-22 In Homecoming Game

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Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2019 2:51 pm | Updated: 2:55 pm, Wed Oct 23, 2019.

Over the years of writing this column, it has been reinforced that any sporting event that takes place Homecoming Weekend is in a different category than the others. Meaning, the collective attention span of the athletes tends to wander a bit. That observation would certainly apply to Friday night’s Homecoming Football game between Coronado and Crawford. To be honest, Crawford won the first three quarters of the contest handily, with the score at 22-13 at that point. However, Islanders rallied for 16 points in the fourth quarter, while holding the Colts scoreless, to earn the 29-22 victory.

Early on, the Islander offensive and defensive lines seemingly weren’t in the game. The Colts have a freshman running back named Hamadi Sharif (uniform No. 2 if you were at the game), who is the prep equivalent to former Charger Darren Sproles. The Colts’ roster generously lists Sharif at five feet, six inches tall and although he is slight in size, he‘s a quick and shifty runner. Sharif gained 98 yards on the evening, was fun to watch and very difficult to bring down.

The game started with the Islanders fumbling the ball on their fourth play from scrimmage, on their own 40 yard line. On Crawford’s second offensive play, Sharif scored on a 33-yard run. Later in the first quarter, Coronado evened the score on four-play, 44-yard drive, with Tyler Buckley scoring on a one-yard run. The two key plays on the drive were a 22-yard run by Devin Schulte and a 16-yard gain by quarterback Brady Roulier.

It seemed as though some sense of normalcy had been regained at this point and midway through the second quarter the Islanders scored on two-play drive consisting of a 14-yard gain by Buckley, followed by a 66-yard touchdown run by Schulte. At the risk of destroying the continuity of the story, Schulte was simply superb, gaining 195 rushing yards on nine attempts, scoring two touchdowns and a two-point conversion. Crawford’s Sharif was fun to watch, but Coronado’s Schulte was electrifying.

Continuing the back-and-forth nature of the game, Crawford scored with five seconds left in the first half on a 28-yard pass play, which left both the Homecoming crowd and the Islander sidelines deflated. The score was tied 13-13 at halftime. And it got worse from there, as the Colts scored at the 2:56 mark of the third quarter to take a 20-13 lead. On the next possession, the Islanders were called for a safety and suddenly Coronado was trailing by two scores 22-13. Frankly, it didn’t look good for the home team at that point and the Islanders wouldn’t score in the third quarter. 

After bending a bit at the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth, Coronado’s defense stiffened and forced a Colt field goal attempt from 40 yards out, which wasn’t close. But after regaining possession, the Islanders fumbled two plays later. With just 8:19 left in the game, Crawford had possession of the ball and a nine-point lead.

But the Islander defense held again, and their front line began to dominate. Sharif lost two yards on a running play, the Colts quarterback fumbled the next snap and lost seven yards, a four-yard Crawford run was offset by a delay of game penalty and the Colts had to punt.

After the Islanders took over on their 29-yard line, Roulier completed a pass to Buckley for 12 yards, Roulier ran for four yards and with 4:51 left in the contest, Schulte ran 55 yards for a touchdown. On the next play Schulte ran three yards for the two-point conversion. The crowd was back in the game, the sidelines were re-energized, but the Islanders still trailed 22-21.

Crawford went nowhere on their next series and after a punt, Coronado had the ball on their own 48. A well-executed sideline route by Buckley and pass from Roulier resulted in an 11-yard gain and a first down. A couple of running plays didn’t amount to much and with 54 second left in the game, Coronado was faced with a second down and 10 situation on the Crawford 13. Schulte ran for eight yards and then Roulier scored from five yards out on a quarterback keeper. The icing on the cake was a two-point conversion by Roulier with 28 seconds remaining, to make the score 29-22. The game ended when the Colts fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Islander Jaden Ferrar recovered the ball.

The Islander players and their fans were euphoric, and the Colts were crushed. A Crawford victory that seemed assured a few minutes prior turned into a devastating loss.

Not only was Schulte scintillating on offense, but he was devastating on defense. He led the team with six tackles, two assisted tackles, two sacks and two tackles for loss. He had plenty of assistance from Ferrar, James Witthoft and Phil Simpson, who all contributed five tackles each. In addition, those four players combined for seven tackles for loss among them. Jonathan Contreras had four tackles and a tackle for loss, and Buckley was credited with three tackles and an assist.

Roulier passed enough to keep the Colts defense honest, connecting on six of his nine pass attempts for 49 yards. Most of the Islanders offensive damage was done on the ground, as they amassed 246 rushing yards.

Islander Head Coach Kurt Hines, who looked a bit worn after the game said, “Friday night, it took us about 41 minutes (of game time) to wake up. Crawford is a talented team with a fine running back. I was really proud of all of our guys and the fact that no one quit or gave up. We’ve begun our workouts for the San Diego game Friday night. We have a lot to work on, but I’m very proud of the guys.” Currently the Islanders are 5-3 overall, 2-1 in the Central League. The game with San Diego (5-2, 2-1 in the City League) is a City Conference crossover game. Coronado is in CIF Division IV and San Diego is in Division III. The game will be played at San Diego High School and will kick-off at 6:30 p.m.

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