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December 22, 2014

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high school football:

Gator Stew: Coronado chomps down on Green Valley once again

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Steve Marcus

Coronado’s Jackson Cofer runs the ball into the end zone for a touchdown against Green Valley during the Sunrise regional semifinal at Green Valley High School in Henderson Friday, November 16 , 2012.

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters spend extra time this week discussing impending matchups between Green Valley and Coronado and Centennial and Arbor View. They also look back on the Henderson Bowl and Bishop Gorman's thrilling victory. ***Note: We apologize for the audio-level issues and are looking into correcting the malfunction for next week. In the meantime, please turn up your volume in order to hear Keefer.***

Coronado officially has Green Valley’s number.

Ten months after the Cougars sent the Northeast division champions home from the playoffs early, they devastated the Gators again. Riding a breakout performance from sophomore kicker Spencer Cofer, who made two field goals of 40-plus yards in the second half, Coronado beat Green Valley 25-21.

“They were the better team than us tonight,” Coronado coach Brad Talich said humbly. “But our kids believe and when you believe, you can hang in there with people and make things happen.”

For the second straight week, Coronado forced five turnovers. Whereas last Friday’s defensive playmaking allowed the Cougars to take Canyon Springs into overtime, Thursday’s enabled them to snag a victory.

Rallying back from an early 14-0 deficit, Coronado focused on its game plan to keep Green Valley quarterback Christian Lopez in the pocket and not let him scramble. Pressure on Lopez late in the third quarter resulted in an interception from junior linebacker Quinton Eisler around midfield.

Eisler’s pick led to a 47-yard field goal from Cofer that gave the Cougars their first lead at 22-21. It ended up functioning as the game-winner.

“We hung tough throughout the whole game,” Talich said. “I think we grew up a little bit.”

Talich credited his offensive line specifically for showing maturity. It was the unit’s best game of the young season as they effectively gave offensive star Jackson Cofer room to operate and lead scoring drives.

Thanks to the play of Marcus Hunt and Justin Belknap, the Cougars also regularly won the battle up front on defense. But it looked like it all might be for naught with a minute remaining in the game.

Green Valley got the ball back in Coronado’s territory when a Spencer Cofer punt never got to the air. The Gators marched 20 yards further and completed another pass but junior linebacker Aaron Cotton jarred the ball loose with a big hit.

Fellow junior linebacker Jordan Rude dove on the fumble to secure a victory.

“If you can create turnovers, especially in high school football, you’ve got a great chance to win,” Talich said. “We showed that.”

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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