Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015 | 12:40 a.m.
It wasn’t bad enough that Coronado (1-1) lost its season opener in heartbreaking fashion to Palo Verde. The Cougars had to sit and think about the loss for two straight weeks during their bye week.
Friday Coronado traveled to Legacy (0-3) to face a Longhorns team hungry for a win after losses to powers Centennial and Arbor View.
The Cougars used every second of their time off and didn’t waste any time showing it in their 24-15 win over Legacy.
Coronado recovered a surprise onside kick on the opening kickoff and drove for a touchdown.
“We saw something on special teams and got the first one turned over, and then it rolled from there,” coach Bill Froman said.
It was running back Jordan Patterson who punched it in from five yards out.
Patterson scored three first-quarter touchdowns to extend the Cougars’ lead to 21-0.
“I just saw the back of my linemen leading through the hole,” Patterson said. “I just trusted them and followed my blocks.”
But following the hot start, Coronado’s offense stalled.
The Cougars could only muster one field goal in the final three quarters, and turned the ball over with regularity.
“We lost our center, and it was just sloppy handling,” Froman said. “Two of the direct snaps bounced off the fullback’s chest. So we changed fullbacks and guess what? The next guy did it, too. So it’s a play we will get rid of, or get better at.”
Coronado finished with three fumbles, but nearly lost a few others on miscues on the shotgun snaps. Mistakes cost the Cougars points on multiple drives deep in Legacy territory.
But while the offense stumbled at times, the Cougars’ defense played nearly flawlessly.
The Longhorns only gained 190 yards of total offense, and Coronado’s secondary held senior quarterback Tanoa Alapati to 5-of-14 passing for 93 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions.
Sophomore defensive back Zacari Holbert made the third interception with a spectacular catch — tipping the ball to himself after colliding with the receiver.
Holbert was one of many youngsters who contributed for the Cougars on Friday.
“We are so young,” Froman said. “We returned three starters from last year — one on defense and two on offense. You’re going to see us get better each week because we are so young and so raw.”
Legacy star running back Tiger Geeslin was held to 77 yards on 12 carries, after gashing Arbor View for 186 yards a week ago.
“We prepared all week for him,” Froman said. “You watch his film and you’ll see he is the real deal. Thankfully (Legacy) seemed to be stalled most of the night because we surely gave them an opportunity to make this a worse game for us.”
Froman is, of course, referring to the Cougars’ three turnovers and 12 penalties, but luckily for him, Patterson was able to salt the game away in the second half.
Patterson finished the game with 30 carries for 246 yards; he credited it to his fast start and his teammates.
“It carried me the whole game,” Patterson said. “I am so beat up, but I would just look at their faces and would go another play.”
While the win wasn’t overly impressive, any win at Legacy is a good one — especially if it is your first career win at a school like it was for Froman.
“We had the salt of that (loss to Palo Verde) for two weeks, and we just worked,” Froman said. “We needed a win, these boys earned it and that’s not a bad football team.”