Corona del Sol's defense keys win over St. Mary's

Corona del Sol's defense keys win over St. Mary's

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Corona del Sol's defense keys win over St. Mary's

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azcentral sports high school football coverage

azcentral sports high school football coverage

In a Division II game, Tempe Corona del Sol rode nine interceptions to a 55-26 win over Phoenix St. Mary’s (2-1) in Tempe on Friday night.

Jacob Onofrio took two of those interceptions and turned them into touchdowns of 35 and 38 yards, respectively.

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“We were just really ready for them,” Onofrio said. “At the beginning of the game, we were just swarming them and that forced Erik Espinoza to throw off-balance. I was just watching his eyes. We were seeing fear.”

Corona’s first interception came just four plays into the game when Kobee Marion set up Corona del Sol (2-0) at the 20-yard line. Five plays later, Cameron Brice (11 carries, 52 yards, one touchdown) scored on a 1-yard run to put Corona up 7-0 after Austin Delaney’s kick with 8:45 to go in the first quarter.

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Interception No. 2 led to Corona’s second touchdown when Kade Kieffer took an Espinoza pass 40 yards, putting Corona on the 3-yard line.

From there, Jalen Bryant scored on a 3-yard run, making it 14-0 after Delaney’s kick with 7 minutes, 30 second to go in the first quarter.

Onofrio’s first interception was a 22-yard return for a 21-0 lead. Then, Corona quarterback Austin Freese got going on a four-play, 37-yard drive with Kaden Carter scoring on a 26-yard pass to put Corona up 28-0 with 2:18 to go in the second quarter.

Dylan Freese (five receptions, 55 yards, one touchdown) would add a 25-yard touchdown pass reception for a 34-0 lead at the half.

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Mason Carroll had a 3-yard run for Corona to finish the scoring.

St. Mary’s finally got moving in the third quarter, scoring on a 15-yard pass play from Espinoza to Mario Ruiz for a 55-7 score after Abel Naverette’s extra point kick with no time left in the third quarter. Espinoza, John Moser (1-yard run) and Joey Zubia (49-yard run) would add scores late for St. Mary’s.

“The key for us was defense,” said Dauante McEwen, who had three sacks for Corona. “We really knew just what they were going to do and our defense was there.”

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