Timely defense and a steady running attack were the key ingredients for Corona del Sol’s 48-7 victory over visiting Cibola.
Senior running back James Contes was the clear offensive star of the night, leading his Aztecs with four touchdowns and 300 yards rushing, which Corona del Sol coach Tom Joseph said was a school record.
Contes broke a huge run in each half, including a 97-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the second quarter and a 95-yard run in the third. On the latter play, a Cibola defender had caught up with Contes 25 yards from the end zone, but was only able to pull off the senior’s shoe, barely slowing his dash to the goal line.
“We were on our five [yard line]. I said, ‘he’s going to break one long run,’ but I didn’t know he was going to score,” said Joseph after the game.
Corona del Sol (3-3) wasn’t asked to do much else offensively, but senior quarterback Evan Kinney played well, completing six of his seven passes for 113 yards and a touchdown.
“It’s nice to do a lot of things well,” Joseph said. “We had fewer mental mistakes and our kids took advantage of situations.”
For Cibola (Div. I, 3-3), the offense never quite got into gear and the few drives that made their way into Aztec territory were stopped abruptly by turnovers.
“We’ve got to take advantage of those situations but unfortunately we had those turnovers,” Cibola coach Lucky Arvizo said. “We lost a couple opportunities, but overall I think the game was won up front in the trenches.”
One particular play that was costly for the Raiders occurred late in the first half. Down 21-0, Michael Decorse-Hall made a spectacular 39-yard catch over his defender’s helmet, but fumbled while trying to stretch the ball across the goal line. One play later, Contes broke the game wide open for the Aztecs.
Quarterback Lucky Arvizo showed some poise, but was unable to put together a good passing day once the game got out of hand. The most explosive offensive play of Cibola’s night came on a 75-yard touchdown catch and run by senior wide receiver Daren Morningstar, who broke several tackles and followed blockers on his way to the end zone. Running back Jordan Mitchell was limited by the Corona del Sol defense, carrying the ball 19 times for 38 yards and catching four passes for 42 yards.
The loss drops Cibola to 3-3 and Coach Arvizo said his team has a lot of work to do up front, which is where he feels the game was lost.
“I just told the team right now that all we can do is control what we do,” Arvizo said. “We’ve got our last four games and we’ve got to win out.”
Score by quarters
Cib - 0 0 7 0 -- 7
CDS - 7 21 13 7 -- 48
First Downs – CDS 13; C 6
Carries-Yards – CDS 38-408; C 27-48
Pass Yards – CDS 113; C 204
Comp-Att – CDS 6-9; C 12-28
Fumbles-Lost – CDS 1-1; C 3-2
Penalties-Yards – CDS 7-55; C 7-70
CDS James Contes 1 run (Nemtschk kick)
CDS Maceo Brown 30 pass from Kinney (Nemtschk kick)
CDS James Contes 3 run (Nemtschk kick)
CDS James Contes 97 run (Nemtschk kick)
CDS George Wright 35 run (Nemtschk kick)
C Daren Morningstar 75 pass from Arvizo (Gastelum kick)
CDS James Contes 95 run (Nemtschk kick NG)
CDS RJ Rhiner 15 run (Nemtschk kick)