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October 23, 2014

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high school football:

Coronado eliminates Las Vegas to set up rematch with Green Valley

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Coronado wide receiver Jackson Cofer comes down with a pass during their game against Basic Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 at Coronado. Coronado shut out Basic after the first quarter for a 24-20 win.

Prep Sports Now

Projecting the rest of the playoffs

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Bishop Gorman vs. Palo Verde. Arbor View vs. Centennial. The start of the Sunrise region playoffs. The semifinals of the Division 1A playoffs. It's a packed week of high school football for Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer to break down on this episode of Prep Sports Now.

One of the best football seasons in Coronado history will last for at least one more week.

Coronado notched its first playoff victory since 2003 Friday night, never trailing in a 21-7 win over Las Vegas High in the Sunrise quarterfinals. The fact the win came against Las Vegas, where Coronado coach Brad Talich spent years as an assistant, made the moment all the more special.

“I certainly have a lot of respect for what they do over there,” Talich said. “I’m just trying to emulate and create an atmosphere over here at Coronado that’s close to what Vegas has had for so many years.”

The Wildcats have been able to score at will for more than a decade, but the Cougars shut down their offense completely Friday. Las Vegas’ only touchdown came on a fumble recovery in the second quarter to make the score 13-7.

“Our defensive kids hung tough,” Talich said. “It was a good performance through all four quarters for those kids.”

The defense was especially impressive considering the coaches gave next to no direction on how to line up against the Wildcats. That duty was left up to seniors Dakota Brunger and Corey Sobczyk.

Allow Talich to explain.

“When we watched them on tape, we knew with their pace we couldn’t get our calls in,” he said. “So we coached up during the week what we felt was best in certain formations and certain things we did, but we left it to the kids. I didn’t do a thing. Our defensive coaches didn’t do a thing. It was the kids calling all the pressure, all of the fronts, stunts, everything we did tonight.”

Maybe Talich should have ceded control of the offense as well. It wasn’t one of the sharper nights for the Cougars offense, according to Talich, as they made several mistakes and committed a handful of turnovers.

That didn’t stop Derrick Keller for rushing for more than 100 yards and a touchdown. Fullback Jason Warren also powered in a touchdown for the Cougars.

Jackson Cofer had Coronado’s other score.

“He’s a special player for us,” Talich said of Cofer. “He helped us in some critical situations. He got some first downs and did a lot of big things for us.”

Coronado advances to the semifinals where Green Valley awaits. It’s a rematch of a memorable game earlier this year when Coronado blew an 18-point fourth quarter lead to lose 33-26.

With both teams improved, Talich expects an even more competitive showdown in the playoffs.

“It will kind of be like a Game of the Ages for us here,” Talich said.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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