September 15, 2017 - 11:24 pm
Coronado’s football team has battled through its share of adversity this season, so coach William Froman wasn’t convinced his squad would win Friday until the final horn sounded.
When it did, Froman and his players walked off the field with a 20-6 home victory over Durango.
Zacari Holbert rushed 24 times for 164 yards and a touchdown to lead the Cougars, who logged their first victory.
“That’s our first win of the season, and we are thrilled,” Froman said. “We’re playing with 10 sophomores right now, and tonight they played critical roles.”
Coronado also was playing with backup quarterback Keegan Tharp. The sophomore completed just 5 of 15 passes, but his 12-yard pass to Ian Thomas midway through the first quarter gave the Cougars a 7-0 lead.
The Trailblazers kept it close throughout the first half, capitalizing on a second-quarter Coronado fumble and cutting the deficit to 7-6 on a 1-yard keeper by quarterback Kaden Renshaw.
Froman said he feared his players might cave under pressure.
“This is a young team that doesn’t know how to win,” he said. “You’ve got to learn how to win, and we took a big step tonight.”
The Coronado defense took over in the second half. Led by Patrick Ng, who finished with 10 tackles, the Cougars squelched several long drives and forced four turnovers.
The defense finally created some breathing room when Semaj Bolin intercepted a pass on Durango’s opening drive of the second half and returned it 40 yards for a TD to put the Cougars up 13-6.
A botched trick punt by Durango (2-1) gave the Cougars (1-2) good field position late in the fourth quarter, and they made the most of it five plays later with a 23-yard scoring sprint by Holbert to go ahead 20-6.
Froman said the win was the result of a team effort.
“We were able to run the ball tonight, and the defense played lights-out,” he said.
Tharp completed 11 of 23 passes to lead the Trailblazers, and teammate Kevin O’Neill caught three passes for 56 yards.