Prep Impressions: Week 5
I covered the Phelan Serrano-Norco varsity football game on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, for The Press-Enterprise, HSGametime.pe.com & @PEcom_sports, and came away thinking the Diamondbacks will get more out of this game than just a double-digit loss. More, perhaps, than even Norco.
Serrano twice lead early, 7-6 and 14-12, and came within two points in the third quarter, 36-34, after scoring consecutive touchdowns to erase a large halftime deficit.
The D’backs running game — OK, Sultaan Sullivan — made some large gains and sustained some long drives, with fullback Hector Ruiz also contributing a 12-yard TD run. Their offensive front was active, setting a pace that Norco’s defense struggled to match.
Sullivan may me one of the best runners in the history of the High Desert. Mark it. He’s powerful and smooth. He’s almost certainly an under-recruited gem.
It will be head coach Ray Maholchic’s defense that stands to make the biggest strides as a result of facing Norco, which is led by a number of Division I recruits.
Serrano held its ground twice on 4th-and-short situations, but fell victim to long plays. The D’backs allowed four TDs of 20 yards or longer.
POST-GAME QUOTE SHEET:
Norco head coach Chuck Chastain:
“We’ve performed a lot better. I don’t think we executed every time we needed to, and made some really bone-headed errors, but that’s a good football team. They’re well-coached and the play hard. They play with heart and they play heard, and that’s exactly what they did. We just got to clean it up. It’s been our nemesis all year so far, turning it over and not taking advantage of key situations. Tip my hat to them. That’s a well-coached team and they play their butts off. We just got to play better. We just got to clean up the mistakes. Our record says 4-1 but we got to clean it up.”
Serrano head coach Ray Maholchic:
“We made it a two-point game (at 36-34), and could of had a chance to tie it up. You know, it was probably a bad call on my part. You always second-guess those (two-point conversion attempts), and that would’ve been something but then it just kind of got away from us. We tried to go unbalanced line and they got underneath us and stuffed us. It would’ve been fun for a while (but) we don’t like getting into scoring matches. The first half we had some chances. We screwed up a couple of times, turned the ball over a couple of times and it kind of hurt us. They gave us a couple of breaks, too. The dropped a punt and we got an interception, but if we’re going to play with a team like that we have to play flawless and we really didn’t. We stopped ourselves a couple of times. They’re a load. They’re fast and big and they just owned us up front. Offensively, they just murdered us. That (Victor) Viramontes is a tough kid to tackle. We we’re hoping he was on a recruiting trip today (laughs) but we just tried to swarm to the ball and make a tackle. We just couldn’t get good shots on him because we were just getting mowed. I don’t think we were used to his speed and strength because he just runs through arms tackles.”