Coronado Islanders’ week three matchup vs. Hoover would be best described as a mismatch, and it would not take long to see why.
Coronado would come out playing as if their hair was on fire, as on the Cardinals’ second play from scrimmage, Clark Anderson read the Hoover screenplay perfectly and intercepted the first pass of the game. Setting up the Islanders at the Hoover 30-yard line for their opening drive. With Anderson and the Islander defense bringing the thunder early, the Islanders offense did their part and provided the lightning. Coronado’s first play from scrimmage QB Hudson Herber would find his WR John Cook down the right sideline for a 30-yard touchdown. Giving Coronado the early 7-0 lead and setting the tone for how the rest of the evening would transpire.
The following two drives for the visiting Cardinals would be near mirror images to their first. On just the 5th play of the night, the Islanders defense would create yet another turnover, this one coming courtesy of #22 Elias Valdivia. The Coronado offense would yet again take advantage of the short field, as led by the two-headed monster in the backfield of No. 9 Zane Delcore and No. 4 Jayden Ferrer. The Islanders would rattle off a quick five-play 40 yard touchdown drive that was capped off by a 9-yard touchdown run by #4 Ferrer—making it 14-0 Islanders. Coronado’s defense was relentless all night, as before the first quarter would end, they would have another interception thanks to a tremendous leaping grab in one on one coverage by No. 32, Logan Eastlick. Coronado’s defensive effort and play were so strong Friday night that they did not allow Hoover to pick up a first down until there was just 5:22 left in the first quarter.
For the first three games of the season, the Islander defense has really been a strong point. After allowing 30 points in week one vs. San Marcos, the Islanders have now held their previous two opponents to just six points. In all three games, the Islander defense has also held their opponents to under 150 yards passing in every game and have also created 8 turnovers in the last two games alone. Coach Hines and his staff have clearly taken great pride in the defense, keeping them in games, and it’s been a huge part of the team’s early-season success.
The Islanders would carry their hot start right into the 2nd quarter, as on their fourth drive of the game, the Islander rushing attack would again lead the way as the Islanders found themselves in the red zone yet again thanks to solid running from Ferrer and No. 5 Joseph Taylor-Pate, who broke off a 30 yarder on the drive. The Coronado drive would be capped off by a 4th and goal run by Delcore to make it 21-0 Islanders. For most teams, a 21-0 lead may have them taking their foot off the gas pedal, but for the Islanders, that wasn’t the case. On the ensuing Hoover drive, the Cardinals would attempt to get their shot passing offense going, but the Islanders defense would have none of it. As on a 2nd and 7 No. 55 Donny Couts, who had been living in the Hoover backfield all night, made a house call with a 26 yard pick-6 to make it a 27-0 Islanders lead. And while one defensive touchdown is excellent, the Coronado defense decided to tack another one on for good measure. As on the next drive, the Islanders front four collapsed the pocket around the Hoover QB, forcing him to scramble. However, he was quickly met by No. 4 Ferrer’s right shoulder, jarring the ball loose where it was scooped up and taken for six by No. 32 Hudson Bartell for yet another Islander TD – making it 34-0. The route was officially on.
In total, the Islander defense would hold Hoover to just 197 yards of total offense (74 passing and 123 on the ground) and surrender just nine first downs on the night. In fact, the Coronado defense was so good last Friday night that they didn’t even let Hoover cross mid-field until two minutes into the 3rd quarter.
For the Coronado offense, things would cool down just a bit. As while they were able to move the ball, they could only punch in one more touchdown on the night. But it would be a historical one. With 3:43 left in the 3rd quarter, the Islanders had yet again worked the ball back inside the red zone after a pair of long runs by Herber and Taylor Pate.
On third and goal at the Hoover 4-yard line, the Islanders lined up in a shot-gun set and handed the ball to running back No. 40 Tatum Wade, who ran it right behind the guard for a touchdown giving Coronado a 40-0 lead. The touchdown by Wade was the first-ever touchdown scored by a female Coronado Islanders football player. You could tell the moment wasn’t just significant for Wade, but her teammates as well, as they all bombarded her in the end zone and on the sidelines with congratulations and praise. The explosion from the Islander faithful was evident as well. Everyone knew they saw history unfold. It was, in many ways, the perfect final piece as the Islanders took the 40-0 victory and improved to 2-1 on the season.
For the first three games of the season, the Islander defense has really been a strong point. After allowing 30 points in week one vs. San Marcos, the Islanders have now held their previous two opponents to just six points combined. In all three games, the Islander defense has also held their opponents to under 150 yards passing in every game and have also created eight turnovers in the last two games alone. Coach Hines and his staff have clearly taken great pride in the defense, keeping them in games, and it’s been a huge part of the team’s early-season success.
On the other side of the football is the Islanders steady ground game that has helped them move the ball. The Islanders are currently averaging 122 yards per game on the ground this season, helping them put points on the board and control the tempo of the game and time of possession.
With their record now at 2-1, the Islanders will take their two-game winning streak on the road to play the Clairemont Chieftains, for the Islanders second league matchup of the season on Friday, April 9.