Famous pastor, author and filmmaker T.D. Jakes was once quoted saying, “a setback is a setup for a comeback.”
With the Coronado Dons latest win over the Apache Junction Prospectors on Oct. 21, they have a chance to squeak into the playoffs.
The Dons extended their win streak to four games after defeating the Prospectors 40-36. The Dons headed into the game with a record of 4-4; with the win, they sit above .500 for the first time since week one.
The game was a shootout from the very kick off, both teams looking to establish their passing attack early.
“Not many teams can stop us when we get our passing game going, we’re gonna look to establish our offense by throwing the ball early,” said Assistant Coach Rick Wilson.
Dons quarterback Jay Vanderjagt executed the game plan accordingly. Vanderjagt completed 28-43 passes, giving him a total of 393 yards and four touchdowns.
Vanderjagt was battling illness before the game and was seen visibly sick during the team’s pre-game warmups. Vanderjagt played through the pain and led his team to a big victory.
The Dons needed their star quarterback to show up in a big way and he delivered.
Another main contributor to the Dons success this week was star wide receiver Robert Williams. Williams tallied 17 receptions, 251 yards and four total touchdowns. After the game, Williams credited his teammates and his offseason work ethic as to why he had such an explosive outing.
“I have great teammates and we all work so hard, I work on my game so much in the offseason and try to get my body to where it needs to be so I can come out and have big games like this,” said Williams.
Looking ahead to next week, the Dons find themselves in a do-or-die situation. With one more game left in the season, the Dons will face off against the Dysart Demons.
If the Dons win, they will move onto the playoffs, if not, they will be sent home early. The Demons will come into the game with an 8-1 record. On top of having to play one of the top teams in the division, the Dons will be shorthanded.
Due to both suspension and academic ineligibility, the Dons will only be able to dress 19 players.
“The coaches are gonna have to be creative next week, we’re gonna have some guys playing positions they’re not used to,” said Head Coach Mike Olson.
The Dons have faced numerous amounts of setbacks throughout the year, whether it be suspension, academic ineligibility or injury. With the odds stacked against them, the Dons have ever so quietly set themselves up for a monumental comeback.
“It’s gonna be a dogfight… It’s gonna be a tough one to pull out but we’re gonna have to fight hard and try to get the win,” said senior cornerback/running back Calvin Williams.
Editor’s Note: Mr. DeSouza is a student journalist at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.