By Jeremiah Dollins
Fresh off a bye week and playing on a Thursday night, the Colton Yellowjackets took to the field at Arroyo Valley High School and throttled the Hawks 35-8 for their first road victory of the season.
They won this game with a balanced attack on both sides of the ball.
On offense, QB Gabriel Aparicio proved to be cool under pressure as he threw for five touchdowns. Over these past two games, it is clear he is developing quite a strong chemistry with the Yellowjackets’ electric receivers Steven Medina, Bryce Martinez, and Xavier Sandoval.
Medina, who caught two touchdown passes, is enjoying the on-field connection with his quarterback. “Gabriel, that’s my guy,” he said. “Without him, I wouldn’t be getting these touchdowns.”
Sandoval, wearing number 22 in this game, dominated the first quarter, picking up 79 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown reception that put Colton up early 7-0.
From there the defense took over.
The stingy Yellowjacket defense wreaked havoc on the undisciplined Hawks offense, causing four fumbles, recovering two, and blocking a punt in the fourth quarter.
Colton’s defense played a nearly perfect game until late in the fourth quarter when special teams gave up an 80-yard kickoff return to Hawk’s junior running back Juanya Morris.
Defensive Coordinator Myley Herrera was proud of his defensive crew’s effort but sees room for improvement. “I was a little upset. I wanted to get a zero for two weeks in a row—special teams had a little mishap—but other than that our kids played hard and fought hard.”
This game also introduced a new wrinkle to the Yellowjacket’s game plan—a kicker. Junior Manuel Alonso kicked five extra points. Alonso is a recent recruit from the soccer team and the coaching staff is excited about his promising kicking game.
With a tough matchup next week against San Gorgonio on the horizon, Head Coach Ray Rodriguez is not losing perspective after a couple of dominating victories. “We got to get crisper,” he said. “We’re messing up on a few things mentally, we’re messing up on assignments. But I think, connection-wise, they’re getting better each week.”