If there is one way to describe the Coronado Islander football game against Mar Vista on Friday, September 10, it would be to call it a mismatch — as the Islanders easily trounced the Mariners 49-18.
Much like they did last week vs. El Capitan, the Islanders took their first offensive possession and got things started with a bang as they had an efficient four-play 56-yard drive capped off by a TD run by Zane Delcore to make it a 7-0 Islander lead and set the tone for the rest of the night.
However, on the ensuing Mar Vista possession, Mar Vista would punch back, countering with a 67-yard TD pass, making it a 7-6 game with nine minutes left in the first.
While the Islander defense has played well this season, the deep ball has been somewhat of a hiccup for the second unit from time to time.
Both teams would come up empty on their next few possessions, thanks to some stout defensive plays from the Islanders that included a sack by Finley Alexander and an interception by Connor Little, his third of the young season.
Following Little’s interception, the Islander offense would again come to life. They made quick work of the Mar Vista defense going 54 yards on just five plays as the drive was capped off by a 23 yard TD pass from QB Hudson Herber to Donny Couts, who ran a seamless wheel route to get behind the corner and the safety, making it a 14-6 game. This gave the Islanders momentum.
The Coronado defense would again force another three and out on the ensuing Mar Vista drive, and even record a safety thanks to a blocked punt by Alexander to make it a 16-6 game.
It should be noted just how well the Islanders’ special teams unit played last Friday. Not only did they block a punt, but blocked two field goals, and had a punt and kick returns of over 30 yards from Hudson Bartell and Zane Delcore to help flip field position in the Islanders favor on multiple occasions.
Following the safety, Coronado would add yet another touchdown thanks to another quick drive highlighted by a great catch and run by Sean Kelley, and a 26 yard house call by Delcore which extended the Coronado lead to 22-6 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter would also be marked by Islander dominance.
After the Islander defense forced a third straight three and out, thanks to a pair of sacks by JT Nelson and Asa Valdivia, the Islander offense yet again capitalized. Coronado had another quick five-play TD drive that again was finished off by a six-yard TD rush by Delcore, his third of the first half, making it a 28-6 game.
Mar Vista then got another touchdown on the board on their next possession, making it a 28-12 game.
Coronado took the 28-12 lead into the half. Just a week ago, we had seen these Islanders hold a substantial lead in the second half. Would it perhaps be a repeat of last week? Would they take their foot off the gas and let the game get close again?
The answer: heck no.
Coronado came out in the second half and kept the pedal to the metal. To start the drive Gunnar Tonkin hauled in a 28-yard pass from Herber to push Coronado to their own 45. Two plays later Bartell broke off a nice 15-yard run that saw the senior truck over a Mar Vista DB to give the Islanders a fresh set of downs.
The drive would nearly stall, but on a third and seven, the Islanders executed a screen pass beautifully to Couts and he picked up another fifteen and another first down.
After another hard run by Bartell, Coronado found themselves on the Mar Vista doorstep yet again, and on fourth and goal, Herber snuck it in for six, giving Coronado a 35-12 lead.
It didn’t take long for the Islanders to get the ball back. A tackle for loss by Bartell and Delcore would set Mar Vista way behind the chains on third down, forcing them into an obvious passing situation. On the third down, Nelson tipped the pass and caused it to float into the arms of Couts.
Coronado would again quickly capitalize as they punched another score into the end zone after a six-yard rushing TD from Steven Davis extended the Coronado lead to 42-12.
The fourth quarter would see the Islanders continue to dominate. They added yet another touchdown, an 18 yard TD from Declore to give him four total on the night. On the defensive side of the football in the fourth, the Islanders generated three more takeaways thanks to two interceptions, one by Logan Eastlick and another by Elias Valdivia.
When the clock expired, the Islanders emerged as 49-18 winners to keep the Taufaasau Trophy in Coronado for another year after a truly dominant effort.
It was yet another fine show from the Islanders and by far their most complete performance as a team this season. They have a balanced attack on offense, which is littered with playmakers, and they won’t allow defenses to sit back and game plan for just one part of their offense. Coronado’s opponents will have to be prepared for both dimensions of the offense playing at a high level, and at the high school level that means a ton.
And with the Islander defense holding opponents to under 15 points a game, Coronado has become a headache for opponents to deal with.
Yes, it’s early, but with the way the Islanders have played so far this season, it’s easy to see where the team might be headed.