The onslaught of rain tonight left
the field at Peoria in pretty bad shape. What was supposed
to be a game with a ton of offense, turned into a game with a lot of turnovers
and a lot of penalties.
It looked as if Peoria was going to run away with this one very early as
Peoria mounted a
17-0 lead in the 1st quarter. With weather like it was tonight and
RBs like Peoria
has, it was very surprising that the Panthers came out slinging the ball. QB
Carlos Miranda hit TE Alex Harrod on a short
strike to start the scoring at 7-0. Peoria CB TJ Jones then
picked off a Blaise Johnson pass that set up a Alex Murrow FG
that made it 10-0. Carlos Miranda found WR Clarence
Wise for another score and before you knew it the score was
Corona del Sol decided to come to
life in the 2nd quarter. They opened the 2nd quarter
moving the ball but came up empty handed and punted. This is when field position
started to come into play. The Aztec defense forced a punt and the offense took
over on the Peoria 29 yard line. They moved the ball enough
behind short runs by RB Dan McClendon to get
them into FG range and finally put some points on the board when Kevin
Hager hit a 25 yard FG to make the score 17-3.
The Corona D continued to play
tough and forced another punt. The offense took over with under 1 minute to go
and this time used the arm of Blaise Johnson to move into FG
range again. Johnson hit WRs Matt Mosely and
Matt Saba for good gains that set up another
Hager FG. Again he was good from 25 and the score at halftime
was Peoria 17 and Corona 6.
The 2nd half opened up
with both teams going 3 and out. Peoria looked as if they were going to pull
away as Markus Turner went up the sideline for an 85 yard TD
but it was called back for holding. The offense never could recover and punted.
A bad punt and a personal foul by Keegan Herring gave Corona
the ball at the 13 yard line and 2 Blaise
Johnson runs later and Corona was back in the game with the
score 17-14 after Johnson converted the 2-point conversion.
This turned out to be the turning point of the game as Corona clearly had the
Four out of the next five
possessions between the two teams resulted in turnovers but it was Corona that would
capitalize. DT Joey Featherman scooped up a bad snap that gave
Corona the ball
at the 31 yard line. Again it was Blaise Johnson how continued
to hurt Peoria.
On the 1st play after the turnover, Johnson
scrambled 65 yards to the Peoria 4 and two
McClendon runs later and Corona
and Corona had
marched a serious comeback to take the lead at 21-17.
Peoria had a chance to score with 2
minutes to play but threw 4 incomplete passes and Corona kneeled on the ball to upset Peoria with a final of
I think the muddy field actually played to Corona's advantage.
Peoria could not use the speed of
Turner and Herring to beat Corona.
McClendon was not able to get much going either but the
difference was Blaise Johnson. He was the best player on the
field tonight. On a bad note, Johnson came out of the game with
under 2 minutes and it looked like he hurt his hip. Let's hope he is okay for
their showdown with Highland next week.
QB Blaise Johnson was basically the offense for Corona for most of the night. He was able to
scramble for big yards and found WRs when he needed to. I also commend the Aztec
defense, as they kept Herring and Turner in check for the majority of the night
and helped the #11 Aztecs beat the #6 Panthers.