Since this is high school football, it figures it was about the math.
For Corona del Sol, arithmetic played into the motivation at Mesquite on Friday night.
The Aztecs, at 3-5 and 21st in power points going into the game, needed wins in the final two weeks of the season to have a shot at a postseason berth. Like last year, when Corona finished 5-5 but finished 17th in power points, the Aztecs could be on the proverbial bubble.
That is, if they got past a Mesquite team playing for pride on senior night.
“The math is right, we can still get in," Corona coach Tom Joseph said. "We need some help, of course."
James Contes did much of the work, gaining 173 yards on the ground and scoring four touchdowns in the Aztecs’ 42-17 win on Friday over Mesquite.
“We got to win one more this week,” Joseph said.
Unfortunately for the Aztecs, to put themselves in position they have to beat Hamilton on the final night of the regular season. But they have some momentum.
On Friday, all of Contes’ scoring runs came in the first half as well as the bulk of his yards as Corona built a 36-10 lead at the break.
“He does a nice job week in and week out for us,” Joseph said. “He runs well. He’s small but he runs hard.”
The Aztecs controlled the line of scrimmage, scoring on their first five possessions to take control. With their backup quarterback playing the second half, Corona slowed down a bit but the game was in hand with a strong defense that held Mesquite to just 70 yards rushing.
Corona had the big lead and turned away Mesquite late in the first half after the Wildcats had driven to the Aztec 15 in the dying seconds but held quarterback Payton Haslem to no gain on fourth-and-1 with 16 seconds left.
For Mesquite, with just one win on the year, coach Matt Gracey was hoping for a better showing, particularly after the news this week that his school, with shrinking enrollment, is slated to move down a division next season.
“We didn’t play well enough to win,” Gracey said. “We just want to finish well. Tonight was not our best effort and we want to finish well.”
Gracey added, “It’s been a rough season, but it’s the last time we will have a schedule like this. We need to finish strong.”
Corona 21 15 6 0 - 42
Mesquite 3 7 0 7 – 17
First Downs: Corona 17, Mesquite 14
Rushes-yards Corona 46-304. Mesquite 30-70
Passing yards Corona 147, Mesquite 203
Passes Corona 9-15-1, Mesquite 15-34-1
Fumbles-lost Corona 1-0, Mesquite 1-0
Penalties Corona 4-25, Mesquite 3-30
C-Mayfield 62 run (Niemtschk kick)
C-Contes 3 run (Niemtschk kick)
C-Contes 8 run (Niemtschk kick)
M-James FG 30
C-Contes 2 run (Jones pass from Rhiner)
C-Contes 1 run (Niemtschk kick)
M-Tondreau 29 pass from Haslam (James kick)
C-Rhiner 8 run (kick failed)
M-Giraldo 3 run (James kick)