Prep Impressions: Sept. 9, 2016

For all the offensive fireworks during the first half of the Vista Murrieta-Corona Santiago football game on Friday night, Sept. 9, 2016, the second half was something of a dumpster fire.

Vista Murrieta scored 20 unanswered points in the second quarter en route to a 31-13 halftime lead, but the third quarter was more of a mess than the referees could stand. The crew ejected two players for fighting and sent both teams to their respective sidelines for, ahem, an unscheduled time out.

“We were very sloppy in every aspect; Composure, just a very sloppy game,” Vista Murrieta coach David Olson said. “I’m not so disappointed at the sloppiness so much as the loss of composure.”

On a number of downs it looked an awful lot like an unbridled fist fight in the trenches before the refs got in the middle and stopped a showdown between Santiago linebacker Ruben Santana and Vista Murrieta lineman Rocco Biondi.

“I love our intensity,” Santiago coach Scott Morrison said. “It was a frickin’ brawl out there.”

More nonsense continued on the next play as Vista Murrieta defensive back Jaylin White and Santiago receiver Nick Gallardo wrestled way, way out of bounds, finally finishing their tussle having swept up a preteen boy on their way to the track surface.

“It was two teams that weren’t afraid to hit you in the mouth, and I think we stood toe-to-toe with them physically,” Morrison said.

It was jarring to see, and it raises a number of questions. (The boy was just fine, by the way. Apparently, this wasn’t the first time. He proudly displayed a brown bruise on his upper arm from a sideline collision he was involved in last week.)

Is it enough to get “fired up” for a big-time opponent, but where do coaches draw the line? And it is the coaches who must do the line drawing because we all know that most players won’t.

Where did all the offense go? Not sure, but it left at halftime. Walked right out of the stadium and wasn’t seen again.

Why are there preteens on the sideline? No idea, but Vista Murrieta must have 200 people on its sideline. The kids usually serve as ball boys or girls, but coaches’ young offspring running amok on a sideline isn’t anything uncommon for a high school game.

And yet despite the mess there was still an eventual winner.

“It’s good to get out of here with a win. Santiago’s a good football team, and to be sloppy and still win is good but there’s an awful lot to correct,” Olson said.

PHOTO by JEREMIAH SOIFER for InlandFieldhouse.com

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