Big 2nd quarter lifts Highland past Corona

Gilbert Highland quarterback Blake Young threw three touchdown passes in the second quarter as host Highland blew open a close game and rolled over Tempe Corona del Sol 35-7 in a Division I game Friday.

After Highland’s Chip White intercepted a Corona del Sol pass at the Highland 26-yard line, Highland (3-1) went down field in nine plays.

Young started the second quarter with a 21-yard touchdown strike to Skyler Home with just three seconds gone in the second quarter. Noah Miller’s kick put Highland up 7-0.

Highland came right back with a perfectly executed onside kick that was recovered by Chris Brewster, and Highland was back in business at the Corona del Sol 34-yard line.

Young then threw the second of his touchdown passes to J.R. Brletic for a 34-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead after the kick with 11:45 to go in the second quarter.

“That was something else,” Young said of the onside kick. “Coach (Pete Wahlheim) wanted that, and it worked great. We surprised everyone.”

But Corona del Sol (2-2) came right back, moving 75 yards in nine plays with Evan Kinney scoring on a 1-yard plunge for a 14-7 score after Isaac Niemtschk’s kick with 8:26 left in the second quarter.

Highland countered with an 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Bill Johnson and a 21-7 lead just 18 seconds later.

Young threw his third touchdown pass on their next series, a 25-yard strike to Colin Gardner, to take a 28-7 lead with 3:17 left in the second quarter.

Devin James (16 rushes for 70 yards) finished the scoring on Highland’s first series in the third quarter, scoring on a 4-yard run, making the final 35-7 with 6:37 left in the third quarter.

Young finished the game 7 of 9, with three touchdowns and one interception.

“I just had time to make those long strikes because my line gave me time to do it,” Young said. “The line made it all possible for us.”

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