COQUILLE – When Coquille’s football team returned to training to prepare for their first game in nearly 40 days due to the challenges of COVID-19, assistant coach Jake Cochran told the coach- Chief David Thomason said he felt sorry for the Red Devils first player.
The enemy turned out to be Reedsport, and on Monday night the Red Devils crushed the visiting Brave 56-6.
“We were locked in and we were ready to go out,” Thomason said after the win.
The ongoing pandemic has led Creswell to cancel a game with the Red Devils in the second week of the season and Coquille to cancel three more due to issues within their own school.
The lost weeks put Coquille in a questionable position for the playoffs, even though the team did not lose a game on the field – the canceled dates with Lakeview and Illinois Valley were considered league forfeits.
Thomason said he wasn’t worried about it, but instead focused on a short turnaround before hosting Rogue River on Friday night.
“We’re just happy to play football,” he said. “We’re playing games now. All is well with the world again.
The Red Devils overwhelmed Reedsport with their quick attacking offense and solid defense.
“We came out with something to prove and we chased it,” Thomason said.
Coquille was leading 34-0 at the end of the first quarter and scored a few moments in the second quarter to cross the threshold which led to a stopwatch for the second half.
Reedsport coach Bill Shaw complimented the Red Devils after the game.
“This is the toughest team we have faced this year,” he said. “Gunner (Yates) has great speed.
Yates regularly freed himself for long away runs and his teammate Brock Willis was equally effective in the first half. The two only played a few offensive snaps in the second half, but the rest of the squad kept the ball moving just as well.
“Not only did our university play well, but our JV and reserves did too,” said Thomason.
The result was a big early lead and a close shutout by Coquille’s physical defense.
Reedsport got their only score in the final play of the third quarter when Aaron Solomon crossed the goal line. The Red Devils had stopped a Braves practice moments earlier, but returned the ball to Reedsport with a turnover near their own goal line.
Coquille has been a regular part of the playoffs lately, while Reedsport has shown signs of great improvement this fall after a few slack seasons.
The Braves were much more competitive in their losses to Monroe and Bandon, the latter of which suffered a 14-7 loss to the Tigers a week earlier.
“I’m proud of my kids,” Shaw said. “They’ve come a long way in trying to rebuild a program.
Success on the pitch pays off at the lower levels, with around 20 kids for the junior high (seventh and eighth graders) teams and another 20 in the fifth / sixth grade program, Shaw said.
Coquille, meanwhile, will look for more effort like Monday’s as the Red Devils look to advance to the playoffs.
“We came out with something to prove (tonight),” Thomason said. “They chased him.”