After a sluggish start to the season, the Dragons were finally able to soar in their home opener.
Andre Navares threw for 352 yards and five touchdowns, all of them of at least 40 yards, as host Del Sol beat Rancho 53-14 on Friday.
“We’re starting to figure out what we can be” Del Sol first-year coach Mike Valenzuela said. “Today, we were able to come up with a lot of big plays.”
Barry Williams caught three of the touchdown passes and added a 75-yard punt return score. Markell Turner caught the other two touchdowns, and Taariq Flowers ran for 124 yards and two more scores in an offensive explosion for the Dragons (1-2).
Del Sol did its damage through the air on both short and long passes from Navares. The junior went 14-for-21 passing and was consistently able to get the ball to his speedy receivers Williams (six catches, 187 yards) and Turner (five catches, 134 yards) in space.
“Everyone just seemed to click for us tonight,” Navares said. “We had been sluggish early on in our earlier games. We wanted to come out fast this time.”
Sure enough, Flowers scored on a 9-yard touchdown run four minutes into the game. After the Dragons recovered a short pooch kick, Navares eventually found Turner way behind the Rams secondary for a 48-yard touchdown pass.
The third score was a short swing pass to Williams to the left flat and the senior quickly zipped by Rams defenders on his way to a 61-yard touchdown. He would add a 41-yard touchdown catch later in the first quarter and after 12 minutes of play, the Dragons led 28-0.
Rancho (0-3) started poorly, but finally got the ball moving in the second quarter, when Jeremiah Bell scored Rancho’s first points of the season on a 14-yard touchdown run with 15 seconds left in the first half.