Prep Impressions: Aug. 27, 2021

ONTARIO – The Corona Santiago-Ontario Colony varsity football game on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, was the first win of the season for one program while the other sputters to a start.

For Corona Santiago, it was a rare victory where the Sharks led from start to finish. The passing game has a vertical option now with receiver Bryce Parker, and Dominic Tubbs is a pro-style QB that has taken several leaps in development since last season. He looks far more comfortable and in command of the offense. He’s moving well in the pocket, and his deep ball to Parker in the fourth quarter was a thing of beauty.

Corona Santiago head coach Scott Morrison: “We’re a little undersized and I think I’m being generous, but our guys play with a lot of heart and they get after it, and we have to try to wear people out a little bit, and we have to not bust assignments. We jumped out to a 14-0 lead because we were clean and then after that we had trouble consistently executing assignments. If we do that better we’ll run the ball better, and the fact is that when you have a No. 2 (Bryce Parker) you have to find ways to get him the ball anyway you can, and that means throwing it to him more than handing it to him, but he’s a special kid. Brandon Kim stepped up today, and took advantage of their attention to No. 2 and all of sudden out other receivers have a shot, so we’re hoping if we can just keep grinding at this thing the run game will become a part of it, too. Last week (vs. Heritage) would be a little hard to match, and last week the stars were aligned for us to score a lot of points, and unfortunately they scored more than we did. It was the first game. We didn’t really know what to expect, they didn’t really know what to expect. Nobody had heard of Bryce Parker except for dribbling a basketball so it’s not necessarily an anomaly. Are we going to throw for 450 yards every week? Probably not. But if we are – this is what we talked about – we threw for 450 yards and we lost. So we’d rather go for 200-200 and win then the other way around. Dom’s doing a good job. He’s in command of the offense. He comfortable in the offense, and that last touchdown to Bryce was an adjustment that he made in-play, and that’s one of those things that when kids start to feel that way it makes you a little nervous because you don’t want them to freelance all the time, but sometimes… . Our kids are flying around. Our defense is in the same boat – we’re a little undersized. But we’re not under-hearted. I love this group of guys. They will play for four quarters as hard they can and not take ‘no’ for an answer. They don’t take to getting bullied. Bigger guys are leaning on them by the fourth quarter. and they’re still flying around by the fourth quarter. I’m proud of them and we’re just going to keep fighting.”

For Ontario Colony, it was a first step in what looks to be a long season under first-year head coach Brian Zavala. The Titans are struggling to get players cleared of COVID protocols, and the offense’s rhythm was adversely effected. Junior QB Ryan Vasquez got his first varsity start and played competently enough in place of senior Will Yates, one of the players who missed the opener while awaiting clearance.

Ontario Colony head coach Brian Zavala: “That’s pretty much what I expected. We haven’t had reps. Our Week 0 game got cancelled by Citrus Hill so that was unfortunate. We were looking for a game but couldn’t find one. That’s what I was worried about because we didn’t get those game reps, we didn’t get the film work or those corrective reps to work on the things we did well and cleaning up the thing we didn’t. This was our opener. Did I expect this outcome? No, but credit Santiago. We saw them last week and they fought back so we knew. They come from a good league. They play big teams year-in and year-out but no excuses. We just have to get better. This was out first game and know we get to go back to the drawing board, watch the film, correct the mistakes and practice the whole week to get better. We condition quite a bit. We’re up-tempo, get-in and get-out, but there’s no substitute for game reps. Our numbers were down. We had some guys out and we had to play a little but of Iron Man football and so now they know what it’s about. For (Ryan) Vasquez, this was his first one. He made some good decisions, he made some poor decisions. But that’s a lot of us on the field. I definitely love our kids. They work hard and they grind, and our coaching staff grinds and we’re going to continue and build from this and we’re going to definitely get better, clean our mistakes up. evaluate, self-correct and improve. That’s what football is all about.”

Santiago – 14 – 0 – 7 – 7 — 28
Colony – 0 – 7 – 0 – 0 — 7
First quarter

S – Lensing 1 run (Moy kick), 8:02
S – Lensing 1 run (Moy kick), 2:08
Second quarter
C – Johnson 5 run (Valdez kick), 5:36
Third quarter
S – Parker 12 pass from Tubbs (Moy kick), 1:12
Fourth quarter
S – Parker 78 pass from Tubbs (Moy kick), 11:09 
Team statistics
Total plays
– Corona Santiago 50; Ontario Colony: 56.
First downs
– Corona Santiago: 9; Ontario Colony: 7.
Penalties – Corona Santiago: 7-60; Ontario Colony: 7-82. 
Individual statistics
Rushing
– Corona Santiago: Lensing 18-40, Granda 3-34, Tubbs 4-(minus-10); Ontario Colony: Johnson 15-38, Parker 11-26, Morales 1-(minus 4), Vasquez 2-(minus 9).
Passing – Corona Santiago: Tubbs 14-24-1-235; Ontario Colony: Vasquez 12-24-3-120.
Receiving – Corona Santiago: Parker 6-150, Kim 4-75, Kurtz 1-6, Younan 1-3, Granda 1-3, Melendez 1-0; Ontario Colony: Jones 3-40, Chism 4-28, English 3-25, Johnson 1-17, Morales 1-10.
Interceptions – Corona Santiago: Kim 2-34, Gargalis 1-0; Ontario Colony: Black 1-4.

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