Early season blowout sets pace for Aztecs

By Ethan Holly

The first football game of the year for the Corona del Sol Aztecs eventually became not only an impressive blowout but a record-setting performance.

Corona’s varsity squad defeated the visiting Tucson High Badgers 41-22.  Senior Chase Larson’s debut for the Aztecs at quarterback led to 354 yards passing, a single game record.

“My game plan was just to play how I could play, and do what I needed so we could win,” Larson said.

Although Larson generally spread the ball out evenly among the Aztecs receivers, Senior Casey Schreiner made the most of his receptions.

“I worked a lot this summer on improving my yards after catch,” Schreiner said. “I did that by working on my speed and leg strength.”

Schreiner caught six passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns against Tucson High.

“It’s hard to explain how it felt,” Schreiner said. “A lot of hard work went into the first touchdown.”

Although the team was down at halftime 15-10 , the Aztecs prevailed mostly through their potent passing game.

“I want to become the best quarterback in state,” Larson said.

With the departure last year of Stanford recruit Blaise Johnson, Larson had big shoes to fill.

“I moved from Hamilton to Corona during the summer,” Larson said.  “The coaches at Corona are more laid back than those at Hamilton.”

Although he switched schools before his senior year, Larson knew many Aztecs before he came to the school.

“It wasn’t a difficult transition because I went to junior high with all of these kids,” Larson said.

Due to the success of last year’s region winning football team as well as the strong performance the Aztecs turned in against the Badgers, next week’s game against Gilbert is being considered by CBS Channel 5 as the Friday Night Football Game of the Week. 

The division of 5A sports into two groups means that there are new rivals for the Aztecs.  Basha High School, after transitioning from freshmen, to junior varsity, to now varsity football will become a new opponent for Corona’s varsity squad. 

The Aztecs will also be tested by old rival, Mountain Pointe.  The Pride are expecting seven returning players on each side of the ball. 

By winning nine games and losing only three last year, the Aztecs had their best season in six years.  With the loss of a lot of their veteran leadership, the team will depend on the returning starters to help lead this year’s squad.

“We want to try and go undefeated in region,” Schreiner said.  “You have to take it a game at a time first.”