Fourth-ranked Coolidge amassed nearly 700 yards of offense in a 70-12 victory over visiting Florence in a 3A South Region game. “We came to play tonight,” said Coolidge coach Carlo Hernandez in what may be the understatement of the year.
Senior running back T.J .White led Coolidge (4-1, 2-1) with 152 yards on nine carries with three touchdowns. He also had three receptions for 42 yards.
“Coolidge Bears have a great program,” Florence coach Shawn Cluff said. The Bears closed out the game with 192 passing yards and 496 rushing yards.
In the second installment of the renewed Pinal County rivalry, Coolidge established and maintained momentum following a Florence (2-4, 0-3) fumble two minutes into the game.
Senior quarterback Jesse Wheeler hit Damar White on a 52-yard touchdown pass to give the Bears a 7-0 lead. Wheeler finished the game connecting on 9 of 10 passes with two touchdowns – both to Damar White. Damar White had three receptions for 100 yards.
The Bears also used the game to show that they will continue to feature top athletes. Three sophomores – Rodney Reagans, Jeremy White and Jayrome Cade – combined for 215 yards on 15 carries. All three scored touchdowns.
Reagans scored his first varsity touchdown on a 91-yard fourth quarter run.
“I was just trying to not get caught,” said Reagans. Reagans had 104 yards on six carries.
Cade had 81 yards on four carries. And Jeremy had 30 yards on five carries. Hernandez said that his sophomores’ successes are rooted in a desire to continue an established athletic tradition. “Coolidge has always had above-average athletes,” Hernandez said. “I believe these kids feel like they have to live up to a lot of expectations.”
Larry Anderson, who came into the game with 585 yards, had 97 yards on 12 carries.