Bronco running back Jovan Avina picks up yardage against Riverdale Christian on Saturday October 9 in the San Joaquin Valley. Photo Credit: Sabas Melge

When a high school football team racks up an astounding 62 points in a game, the odds of winning would appear to be in their favor.  Indeed, eight or nine times out of ten the team tallying 62 points comes home the victor.

     Nonetheless, the Broncos shattered those odds last Saturday, bowing 70-62 to the Riverdale Christian Ambassadors in overtime.  Coast Union scored 8 in the first quarter, 24 in the second, 8 in the third, and 22 in the fourth – to force a 62-62 tie at the end of regulation. But the Ambassadors put 8 points on the board in overtime to wrap up the game.

     Notwithstanding the beefy 62 points Coast Union put on the board in this away game, they could not contain the Ambassadors’ 6-3, 250 pound Freshman running back Trevon Gaffney –  “a bruiser,” according to Head Coach Andrew Crosby.  Moreover, Crosby noted in an email that “Our tackling was poor and is something we need to improve on.  Anytime you score 62 points and don’t come up with a win, it’s difficult to swallow.”       That said, Crosby went on to praise “how hungry our guys were to stay in the game. They have short memories and responded well on offense.”

     Putting some perspective on the outcome of that high-scoring contest in the San Joaquin Valley – a 238-mile round trip – Bronco Offensive Coordinator Charlie Casale remarked, “At least we are playing.”  It’s not lost on the players and coaches that, after enduring a year’s hiatus due to the ongoing, dangerously communicable Covid-19 pandemic, they are back in pads and well prepared to challenge any foe on the gridiron.

     It is also important to note that this tough loss was a non-league tilt, and Coast Union has sights set on the biggest prize – the Coast Valley League (CVL) championship.  Indeed, all season Coast has zeroed in on the last three pivotal games. The Broncos could win the CVL crown by surmounting Maricopa at home on Thursday October 14 (a 4:00 p.m. game); by beating Valley Christian Academy (at home, Saturday October 23 (a 7:00 p.m. game); and by topping Cuyama Valley on the road on Saturday, October 30.

     Those 62 points reflected what Casale calls “A very balanced team between run and pass. The boys have put in a lot of time on passing and receiving this past summer, and it’s paying off now.”  The coach added: “Our strong run game was very consistent.”  That run game was led – as it has been all season – by the robust thrusts of Coast Union’s standout quarterback, senior Emi Pena.  He blasted through the Ambassador’s defenders for 214 yards and scored 5 touchdowns.  Senior Miguel Ramirez gained 40 yards for the Broncos.  Junior Diego Fernandez picked up 21 yards.  Caiden Kennedy passed for 15 yards and caught passes for 92 yards, scoring one touchdown.  Junior Cesar Gomez caught passes for 91 yards and scored a touchdown, as well.

     On defense, Pena is credited with 10 solo tackles (and 4 assists).  Kennedy nailed 8 solo tackles (3 assists) and nabbed an interception; Gomez had 7 solo tackles (4 assisted); Fernandez added 6 solos; Ramirez had 4 solos; and both Freshman Jonathan Ramirez and senior Julio Gomez had 3 solo tackles.

     In an email interview Crosby pointed out that the Riverdale game amounted to a “pressure test…that will make us a better team. We’re focused on our league game against Maricopa” on Thursday afternoon.