Despite being without the top passer in the area, Foothill was still in contention Friday night at No. 9 Coronado, trailing the Cougars by just five points in the final minute of the first half.
However, three big plays in a 30-second span produced a Coronado touchdown, and the Cougars kept building the momentum the rest of the night.
Coronado benefited from a 16-yard touchdown from Cody Mucino on a reverse play with seven seconds remaining before halftime.
From that point, the Cougars never looked back en rout to a 41-22 Homecoming victory over the Falcons.
Foothill (2-5, 1-2 Southwest) trimmed the deficit to 14-9 on Cory Fisher’s 22-yard field goal with 37 seconds left in the second quarter.
Mucino took the ensuing kickoff 39 yards to the Foothill 46, and the Cougars were in business. Kevin Lucero hit Jackson Cofer for 30 yards and Cofer managed to get out of bounds at the Foothill 16.
After a timeout, Mucino took the ball on a reverse and raced untouched for the score, giving Coronado a 21-9 halftime edge.
“That gave us all the momentum in the world,” Coronado coach Brad Talich said. “We feel like we can score in quick fashion, and that drive before halftime was huge for us. Give Foothill credit, they played hard on both sides of the ball, which gave us problems at times.”
Foothill was without quarterback Drew Doxtator, the only player in the area to have thrown for over 2,000 yards heading into Friday’s play. Doxtator was injured last week against Basic, and his return is uncertain.
Jalen Shepard, who had thrown just 19 passes this season, stepped in for Doxtator and threw for 203 yards and a 44-yard touchdown to James Henderson. However, Shepard was picked off twice and sacked six times.
The Falcons’ Ricky Dixon fumbled the second-half kickoff and Jason Pollins recovered for Coronado at the Falcon 25. One play later, Derrick Keller scored from 21 yards out, and the Cougars led by 21.
Keller had a significant second half, after going for just 37 yards in the first 24 minutes. Keller finished with 176 yards on 26 carries, and later added a 67-yard score.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve won on Homecoming, and the kids wanted this game badly,” Talich said. “We had to overcome some adversity during the game, but this was a solid effort by our football team.”
Mucino completed 16 of 24 passes for 203 yards and three TDs for Coronado (5-2, 2-1), which gained 434 total yards. Jordan Primo led Foothill with 68 of his team’s 94 yards rushing, and had a 45-yard score. Henderson had 52 receiving yards to lead the Falcons.