By Brian Park
In what was their first homecoming game in their brand new stadium, the San Juan Hills Stallions continued their winning ways Friday by defeating the Dos Pueblos Chargers, 27-14.
The Stallions (6-0) are off to their best start in school history—an especially remarkable feat considering last year’s winless season.
“There have been some great teams, great kids and great coaches that have come before us. We’re just glad that we can establish the program back to what it should be,” head coach Aaron Flowers said.
Junior Kyle Mucerino caught six passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns, and senior Corey White got the lion’s share of carries in the second half and finished with 83 yards rushing and a game-icing touchdown on 13 attempts.
Big plays on offense helped put points on the scoreboard for San Juan Hills. Junior quarterback Jacob Gibson’s 65-yard run on the very first play set up the Stallions’ first score, and in the third quarter, after receiving a lateral from Gibson, senior Scott Hoover found a streaking Mucerino for a 58-yard touchdown pass.
But on a night that the Stallions offense struggled to maintain long drives, it was the defense that held Dos Pueblos at bay and secured the victory.
Trailing 20-13 in the fourth quarter, Dos Pueblos threatened to take the lead with the ball placed at San Juan Hills’ 13-yard line. But on third-and-goal, junior Brennan Walsh intercepted Dos Pueblos quarterback Nolan Soto’s pass at the seven-yard line and returned it 32 yards before he was taken down to preserve the lead.
The San Juan Hills defense finished with a forced fumble, a sack by Trey Clauser and two inteceptions by junior Curren Lapes and senior Logan New Ian.
“It looked like the offense was struggling a bit in the first half, so we came out in the second half saying they’re not going to get any points,” senior linebacker Nick Muck said. “We have a motto here: bend but don’t break. They might be able to get down in the redzone, but we’re not going to break and give them any points.”
Penalties slowed the tempo of the game for both teams but especially so for San Juan Hills. The Stallions were penalized 12 times for more than 100 yards while Dos Pueblos received 7 penalties for 55 yards.
“The penalties that we had during the game that really killed offensive drives for us, that’s just bad coaching,” Flowers said. “As coaches, we’ve got to get better in that area because we’re not going to do very well in league if we continue to do that.”
San Juan Hills opens Sea View League play next Friday at home against Laguna Hills.
The 2010-2011 San Juan Hills team had the previous best start to a season at 5-1. That team finished 7-4 … At halftime, San Juan Hills students Hank Reuter and Lexi Cachia were announced as homecoming king and queen, respectively.