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Vikings cruise to victory

10/03/2014, 11:45pm PDT
By Kirk Kenney

La Jolla wins on the football field, but Coronado’s cheeseburgers mighty tough to beat


La Jolla coach Jason Carter congratulates Anthony Stanley after Stanley sacked the Coronado quarterback.

Final score: La Jolla 38, Coronado 7.

Key plays: La Jolla had four interceptions — by Jonathan Levenson, Vail Miesfeld (twice) and Anthony Stanley — and two of them led to touchdowns. Miesfeld’s first interception came with 1:08 left in the second quarter. The Vikings took it 58 yards in 48 seconds for a 17-7 halftime lead when QB Collin Rugg hit WR Trenton Fudge with a 10-yard scoring pass. They converted Stanley’s pick into a TD three minutes into the third quarter when Levenson scored on a 1-yard run.

Quotable: “The one before the half was pretty big,” said Miesfeld, who played with a heavily taped right hand that required him to make basket catches on the interceptions. “I wanted to make sure we could stop them and get back and score before the half.”

Key stats: La Jolla quarterback Collin Rugg was averaging 306 yards a game passing coming into the contest. He was 17-for-27 for 213 yards and 3 TDs, the Vikings opting to run the ball more than usual. La Jolla’s Joseph Vang and Levenson combined for more than 200 yards rushing.

Quotable, too: “We were planning the whole week to have a mix of pass and run to catch them off guard,” said Rugg. “After we passed for all these yards, we knew they would be defending the pass. The first few plays they were sending out eight guys into coverage, which left wide open running lanes.”

Pass happy: La Jolla coach Jason Carter junked the team’s wing-T when he arrived two years ago and installed a hurry-up, pass-happy offense in which the goal is to run 90 plays a game. Carter was a quarterback/wide receiver in high school and at Texas A&M who played receiver during three seasons in the NFL with Minnesota and Carolina: “There’s nothing better than throwing the ball,” he said. “It’s the way the game is moving, if you have a quarterback who can throw the ball and you can take the time to train him to do it.”

Lighting up the scoreboard: La Jolla fans seem to enjoy seeing the Vikings average 40 points a game, as opposed to the 15 points averaged before Carter came along. La Jolla scored 64 points in a season-opening win against LJCD. The Vikings had 52 two weeks later against Fallbrook. Trouble there is they allowed 55 against the Warriors. “It’s really exciting going from 15 points a game to 40,” said Carter. “We just have to stop giving up that many.”

Rugg burns: La Jolla has just the player to run the offense in Rugg. He has passed for 1,744 yards and 24 TDs this season, numbers that put him on pace to challenge for single-season yardage and TD records. Rugg passed for 563 yards, the second highest total in section history, three weeks ago in the loss to Fallbrook. His seven TD passes tied for third most in a game.

One for all: Coronado starting quarterback Ian Thorleifson has been sidelined since a collarbone injury in the season opener, but he has made an impact providing guidance for sophomore backup QB Jaeger Bull. “Ian’s helped him get prepared, showing him the ropes, how the offense is run, proper reads, things of that nature,” said Coronado coach Tony Isabella. “That’s the character of this team.”

Good switch: Coronado parents Bruce and Jeannette Gillingham handled grilling duties outside the concession stand during the JV game. Fortunately, they were relieved before the varsity took the field. Otherwise, they would have been preoccupied and missed seeing son Matt’s big game. He was Bull’s favorite target, catching six passes for 82 yards in the first half.

Speaking of food: Asked for what the Coronado concession stand is best known, Fred Melnick immediately spoke up from behind the counter: “The cheeseburgers. They’re world famous.” Legend has it that Marilyn Monroe regularly ducked away from the filming of “Some Like It Hot” over at the Hotel del Coronado in 1959 to get her hands on a Coronado cheeseburger (it drove director Billy Wilder crazy). The cheeseburger was very good, earning four belches on our five-belch scale.

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