It was a picture perfect night at Coronado’s Niedermeyer Field where the Islanders hosted the Mar Vista Mariners from Imperial Beach. The Mariners came into the game with a 1-2 record while Coronado stood at 1-1 on the season. The teams looked evenly matched at kickoff as the Islanders pinned Mar Vista at their own 15 yard line. Coronado’s defense was fired up with a quarterback sack by #4 Max Baker and a stifled sweep forced Mar Vista to punt.
The Islanders had good field position at the Mariners 37 yard line but the visitor’s defense forced a 3 and out. On their second drive Mar Vista moved the ball down to the Islander 31, but another sack by Baker and a stop on fourth and 3 gave the ball back to Coronado. The Islanders could not move the chains and disaster struck when Mar Vista blocked the punt and recovered the ball at Coronado’s 5 yard line. Two plays later, the Mariners were in the end zone to take an early 6-0 lead.
A good kick off return to the 32 yard line by #12 Trent Chatman put the Islanders offense back on the field. Quarterback Bryce Alexander had difficulties finding his receivers amongst a strong Mariner pass rush. The Islanders were forced to punt again and Mar Vista made them pay with a 62 yard seam pass for another touchdown making the score 13-0.
Coronado made some needed adjustments in the second quarter. Moving away from the pass, the Islanders grinded out needed yardage on the ground. A Chatman sweep around right end converted a 4th and 1. Then Alexander scampered for 14 yards on a quarterback keeper. With some new found confidence, Alexander tossed a long pass that Caden Gentry, in heavy traffic, came down with for a 29 yard gain. The best drive of the night had the Islanders first and goal from the 7. Chatman and Alexander gained some tough yards inside, but on fourth and goal, the Mariners swatted away an end zone pass and took over on downs at the 2. Soon fortunes turned for the Islanders as they sacked Mar Vista in the end zone for a safety.
After the free kick, Coronado took advantage of the momentum shift, putting together another strong drive. A 17 yard pass play to Max Baker put the ball on the Mar Vista 25. A few plays later, Alexander hit Chatman on a screen pass that went 19 yards for a touchdown. A quarterback sneak converted the two point conversion and the Islanders were back in the game 13-10.
Mar Vista answered quickly with a 27 yard pass to mid-field. Coronado stiffened and forced the Mariners to punt, but Islanders special teams weren’t very special Friday night and the punt was fumbled back to the Mariners at the Islanders 20 yard line. The visitors struck fast with a 16 yard rumble into the end zone. The Islanders mounted a drive with nice running by Chatman and passes to Braedon Laughlin. On 4th and 10 with the Islanders needing to score, they converted on a nice screen pass to Chatman (see video below).
As the second half started, Coronado trailed 20-10. The Mariners line play controlled the game, keeping the Islanders off balance. The second Islanders drive ended in an interception. With the ball on the 30 yard line, Mar Vista struck on another screen pass for a score. After falling behind 27-10, Coach Hines put in #7 senior Lance Lorentz at quarterback. Lorentz showed a strong arm with a few nice passes to Teddy Hendrickson and QB turned receiver Bryce Alexander. The Mariners’ line was wearing down the Islanders and Coronado could not muster another scoring drive.
Highlights for the Islanders defense included solid play by #76 Josh Wink and #75 Joey Discenzo who recovered a Mar Vista fumble thwarting a scoring drive. Max Baker and Trent Chatman also looked like they enjoyed hitting people all night long.
The game was a test for the young Islanders football team and I am sure Coach Hines will use it for many coaching moments. Coronado gave up 283 rushing yards which kept the ball away from their offense.
Next week the Islanders host Tri City Christian with kick off at 7pm. Please come out and support Islanders Football.