EDITOR’S NOTE: I updated the wording of this post to drive home to all of you the magnitude of Corona Centennial’s loss … because God knows you won’t get it put to you like this anywhere else.
The Corona Centennial coaching staff, whose biggest clutch decision this year has been what time to get off the bus, blew it on Friday night at the worst possible time.
Trailing 15-13 to Palo Alto with 35 seconds left, the Huskies’ coaching staff decided to send kicker Ezequiel Rivera out for a 42-yard field attempt on fourth-and-8 from the Palo Alto 25.
Naturally, Rivera’s kick in a driving rain storm, on a rain-soaked field, wasn’t even close. The loss ended Corona Centennial’s bid to be considered the best team in the country after a season in which the Huskies gained the most yardage in California state history.
Following the miss, Rivera was inconsolable on the Centennial sideline and coach Matt Logan came over to hug and try to calm his kicker down. What Logan was hopefully doing was apologizing for shifting all or some of the blame for the loss to Rivera, who he sent out in an impossible situation.
Blame for the loss actually belongs to Logan and what seems like a 30-man coaching staff for being thoroughly out-coached by Palo Alto’s Earl Hansen and his staff.
How many coaches does Centennial have on its staff? Twenty? Thirty?
For the first time all season, Logan and Co. had to coach in the clutch. Centennial’s average margin of victory this season was 37 points per game, so you can understand their deer-in-the-headlights look when they were actually in a competitive game and had to come up with something to pull their kids through.
Instead, what should have been a final drive that put the stamp on one of the best seasons ever ended with Logan essentially deflecting blame by sending his kicker out in a near-impossible situation.
Centennial’s final drive started at the Palo Alto 43 with 2:33 left in the game. To only gain 18 yards in that amount of time with the best offense in state history is an embarrassment.
And for those blaming the rain, let me remind you that Palo Alto QB Christoph Bono, the son of former NFL QB Steve Bono, was able to throw for over 220 yards.
The move for Logan to make was to go for it on fourth down and let his all-everything QB Michael Eubank make something happen. To send Rivera out was tantamount to waving the white flag and letting a player take all or part of the blame for a loss that belong squarely to Logan and his staff.