Silverado came into Friday’s homecoming game against Coronado knowing that one more Southeast League loss would be devastating to its already-fading playoff hopes.
So the Skyhawks took out their frustration on the Cougars, playing a devastating game on defense that held Coronado to 3 yards of offense in the first half.
As a result, Silverado built a 37-0 lead on the way to a 37-20 victory.
“I’m really proud of them coming back the way they did after the last two games,” Silverado coach Andy Ostolaza said. “Defensively I thought we played a really good game tonight. We knew we had to shut down their passing game because they have some receivers who can hurt you in a hurry.”
The Skyhawks (3-2, 2-1 Southeast League) neutralized the Coronado pass offense until the game was out of reach. Silverado held Coronado to two completions in the first half as the Skyhawks outgained the Cougars 249-3.
Strong secondary play was also key for Silverado, exemplified by Cade Campbell (59 yards) and Cory Iwata (24), who had interception returns for scores for the Skyhawks.
On offense, Silverado, relied on its offensive front to pound away on the ground on long drives. The Skyhawks rolled up 256 rushing yards, led by Izaiah Thurman, who rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown.
“Physically we were a lot better on the offensive line tonight,” Ostolaza said. “We were really able to pound the ball out and run the clock. We wanted to take advantage of our size.”
Silverado’s first three scoring drives consisted of 14, 13 and 10 plays, and each took more than five minutes off the clock.
But the other component for Silverado was its passing game, and the play of wide receiver Josh Curtis.
“Once we got them to bring a bunch of defenders inside, then we threw the ball outside to (Curtis),” Ostolaza said. “Once we get man coverage with him, he’s a hard guy to contain.”
Curtis had six receptions for 106 yards and a two touchdowns for Silverado.
Curtis said his first score of the night — a 38-yard reception from quarterback Savon Moniz — did not go as planned.
“It was supposed to be an outside fade, but I saw he was playing me outside, so I signaled to my quarterback that I was going inside,” Curtis said. “He just made a great throw and I caught it.”
That gave Silverado a 14-0 lead and was the only pass completion on the otherwise run-dominated 13-play, 73-yard drive.
As for his second TD catch — on a 7-yard lob from Moniz on the left side of the end zone — Curtis said he wasn’t sure he would be able to make the reception at the sideline.
“I didn’t even think I was going to catch it. But I put my arms out and it came to me,” said Curtis, who snared the ball for the score to put Silverado up 30-0.
Kevin Lucero came off the bench to throw for 121 yards and a pair of TDs in the second half for Coronado (2-3, 1-2).
Ostolaza said while the victory over the Cougars was an important step for his team, there is more work to do.
“Now we have to move on,” Ostolaza said. “We have a big, tough game next week against Foothill. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going. I think our guys know what’s at stake and what every game from here on out means.”
That was not lost on Curtis.
“This game was really important,” Curtis said. “If we lost we would already be out of the playoffs, so we still have a shot to redeem our season. But (Foothill) is a good team and we will really have to prepare for them.”