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Broncos’ defense hold crosstown rival to season-low seven points in home victory

Broncos’ defense hold crosstown rival to season-low seven points in home victory

MURRIETA >> Vista Murrieta football coach Eric Peterson held up a written copy of the team’s game plan after Friday night’s victory, and it drew a chorus of cheers from the players. 

Peterson might want to consider framing that piece of paper, because it was a masterpiece. 

The Broncos kept Murrieta Valley’s high-powered offense in check and also dominated time of possession with their power running game. The result was a 21-7 home victory that help Vista Murrieta secure another Southwestern League title. The Broncos will share this year’s championship with Temecula Valley, a 41-26 winner over Murrieta Mesa on Friday. 

“We had a plan for tonight, and the kids executed that well,” Peterson said. “It was very business-like by us tonight. Go out there and get the job done. Our Achilles heel this year has been the mental side, but that was not the case with this game. The belief in that game plan made it all work.” 

Vista Murrieta (7-3, 4-1 in league) excelled in all facets of the game. 

Murrieta Valley entered the game averaging 49.6 points and 513.7 yards per game. The seven points scored by the Nighthawks were a season low, as were the 316 yards of offense. Murrieta Valley also had a pair of turnovers. 

“That’s just not us. We usually protect the ball very well,” Nighthawks coach George Wilson said. “Vista Murrieta played a pretty clean game and didn’t turn the ball over at all. That turned out to be a big difference in the game.” 

Vista Murrieta got on the scoreboard first, as Robert Coleman scored on an 11-yard quarterback keeper midway through the opening quarter. That was the beginning of a impressive night for the league’s reigning Offensive MVP. 

Murrieta Valley (8-2, 3-2) answered back on the ensuing possession, with Brandon Rose tossing an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jack Yary.

Vista Murrieta regained the lead with 2 1/2 minutes remaining in the half. Coleman did the honors once again, this time scoring from 13 yards out. Murrieta Valley had an opportunity to add to its total before halftime, but Tyrese Shakir made a leaping interception with 13 seconds on the clock. 

Vista Murrieta spent much of the second half  in a bunch formation with three tight ends: Jack Pedersen, Edward Ta’amilo and Landon Gallagher. Broncos assistant coach Todd Gerhart referred to it as “the Stanford look.” Vista Murrieta finished up the night with 192 rushing yards on 32 carries. 

“We wanted to keep that ball in our hands as much as we could tonight,” said Coleman, who had 193 total yards of offense. “We worked all week with that game plan, and we were able to come out here and execute it.” 

Coleman tossed a 14-yard touchdown to Ta’amilo in the fourth quarter to extend the lead. 

Murrieta Valley’s offense was unable to generate many of the big-yardage plays they’ve racked up in bunches this season. The average completion by the Nighthawks Friday was 10.5 yards and the average run was 3.5 yards. 

Vista Murrieta’s defense stepped up in the second half to protect that lead. Jordan Little intercepted a pass by Rose in the third quarter, and Chauncey Hart made a big tackle to bring Taliq Brown down on fourth-and-goal with 6 1/2 minutes left in the game. 

“We played as one,” Hart said about the sterling defensive performance. “We came together and executed the plan we had worked on all week.”

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2018 Southwestern League Standings

Team League Overall
Vista Murrieta 5-0 8-3
Murrieta Valley 4-1 6-5
Murrieta Mesa 2-3 5-6
Chaparral 2-3 7-4
Temecula Valley 2-3 6-6
Great Oak 0-5 1-9