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Coronado builds early lead, hangs on for 4A flag football title

With heavy rain falling at times Tuesday night, Coronado quarterback Maci Joncich struggled to lead her team with the usual air attack. Instead, she used her legs.

The senior rushed 13 times for 120 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Cougars to the Class 4A state flag football championship with a 25-16 home victory over Arbor View.

“Maci is such a talented kid,” said Coronado coach Jody Reich. “This is who she is as a player. She’s the brains of the game.”

Though Joncich had passed for more than 2,000 yards this season heading into the game, her first four pass attempts fell incomplete. But she wasted no time in making adjustments, carrying the ball on all four plays of the Cougars’ first drive and scoring on a 45-yard scramble to put her team up 6-0.

Joncich scored again in the second quarter, weaving through heavy traffic to complete a 72-yard drive with a 3-yard score to put Coronado on top 12-0 with 7:05 remaining in the half. And considering the Cougars had blown out Arbor View in their two regular-season meetings, Joncich’s 25-yard yard run to make it 18-0 early in the third appeared to put the game away.

Reich said she knew it wasn’t over.

“I called my dad when we found out we were going to play Arbor View and he said, ‘It’s hard to beat a team three times,’ ” Reich said. “But we have some really good talent on the field and a lot of girls who just won’t stop until they make the play.”

The Aggies stormed back, scoring on a 3-yard pass from Karah Foss to Evonne Bruestle midway through the third quarter and a 14-yard sprint by Danielle Morales with 5:45 remaining in the fourth to cut the deficit to 18-16.

But Joncich needed just three plays to end the threat, this time with her arm. Her 64-yard TD bomb to Bailey Goldberg, who had opened up nearly 10 yards on her nearest defender, sealed the win with 3:45 remaining.

“Nerves were high at that point,” said Joncich, who completed 6 of 15 passes with a touchdown and two interceptions. “But we’ve seen a lot of adversity this season, and that helped keep us level-headed. Everyone ran their routes perfectly and that play gave us a boost of confidence.”

Class 3A

Virgin Valley 28, Boulder City 6 — The Bulldogs jumped to a 15-0 halftime lead and never looked back as sophomore Davie Slack passed for three touchdowns and ran for another en route to the state championship.

Slack finished with 187 passing yards and 106 rushing yards, while teammate Linita Kioa had two TD receptions. Mercades Jordan led the defense with two sacks.

Contact Jeff Wollard at jwollard@reviewjournal.com

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