By Kody Acevedo
There’s a rejuvenated sense of excitement when Friday nights roll around at Corona del Sol High School.
This week was no exception as the Aztecs defeated the Poston Buttes Broncos 24-14 in the annual “Pink Out Game” to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Students in the stands dressed in pink while players wore pink sweat bands to celebrate the occasion. According to Assistant Principal of Athletics Den Nero, the event was coordinated entirely by the students.
“That’s all driven by the kids,” Nero said. “The student council did all of that and are always looking to give back. They love those types of things.”
Nero said it’s something the school looks forward to every October.
“It’s really nice that our students do that,” Nero said. “They decided to do it today and they got it done.”
The Aztecs in pink had a lot to cheer for on top of their successful event.
Corona, 5-1, reversed course after suffering their only loss of the season last week against O’Conner, 56-28. The Broncos, 0-6, are still winless despite a triumphant effort for most of the game.
Poston Butte trailed by three going into half-time. Penalties plagued the Aztecs in the first half. They responded in the second half with a strong defensive performance that kept the Broncos scoreless.
“We talked a lot about discipline at half time,” Coach Cory Nenaber said. “We shouldn’t have facemasks and horse collars if we are tackling how we are taught to do, which is down around the knees. I was proud of our guys in the second half.”
Nenaber credited the offense’s running game as a key to their 17 points in the first half.
“We are a run-first team, we have been all year,” Nenaber said. “The goal was to try and establish a run early, try to get the ball on the edges and try to stop their run game.”
The Aztecs ran the ball 41 times on the Broncos and picked up 285 yards and a touchdown.
Aztec quarterback Austin Freese completed 9-of-13 passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns.
He credited a remarkable 34-yard reverse-flee-flicker touchdown pass at the end of the second quarter as the team’s motivation to step up their game.
“I think [that play] gave us the edge tonight,” Freese said. “It really got us some momentum going into the second half.”
Freese praised the players around him for a successful night.
“I have to give a lot of credits to my teammates,” Freese said. “They were getting open and making good catches, they did a lot for me. “
The Aztecs picked up their fifth win for the first time since 2011 when they went 5-5. Freese said the team isn’t distracted by the flurry of attention they’ve received this season.
“We just keep doing us every single week,” Freese said. “Being smart and making good decisions on and off the field will help us keep things rolling.”