Anchored by lines — both offensive and defensive — that bullied, bruised and blocked their way past Dobson, Corona del Sol played smash-mouth football for a 33-6 victory Friday night in a game shortened by lightning.
The running back-by-committee philosophy, which included Dominic Mercurio, James Contes and Tevin Mayfield, rushed for 242 yards in only three quarters of play.
“We knew going in that they were going to be a physical team,” Mustangs coach Alex Jacobson said. “Look, they whipped our butts. We were out-physicaled tonight, that was the bottom line.”
The Aztecs (2-1) scored three of their touchdowns on the ground, led by Mercurio, who logged a pair of 2-yard touchdowns in the first half. Mercurio led the team with 83 yards on the ground.
“They’ve got some talent on that offensive line and that defensive line; there are some big kids and we knew that,” Jacobson said.
But even Corona’s 6-foot-7, 310-pound lineman, Andrus Peat, didn’t stop the explosive T.J. Thomas from scrambling to an 80-yard touchdown with 9 seconds left in the half. That proved to be the only score of the game for the Mustangs (2-1).
“He had one long run, I mean, that’s it,” Corona del Sol coach Tom Joseph said. “(We) played solid defense.”
The Aztecs' final first-half score was etched when quarterback Billy Clemens hooked up with Avery Moss for a 33-yard touchdown, making the score 20-0 with 7:53 left before intermission.
“We just spent a half hour identifying the little things that we haven’t been doing at practice or anything,” Jacobson said after a post-game conference with his team. “I told the kids they’ve worked too hard to flush this whole thing down the toilet.”
Clemens finished with 98 yards passing and the touchdown pass to Moss.
The Aztecs added two touchdowns in the third quarter — one on a 3-yard run by Contes, another on a 42-yard interception return by James Vaifale.
In contrast, the Mustangs’ signal caller, Gabe Martinez, went 4-for-12 with two interceptions; the second of which was only the second play called after the halftime lightning delay.
“(The lightning) was not an issue," Jacobson said. "Actually, that gave us some time to make some adjustments and do some things. Obviously it gave them some time as well."