Football coach optimistic about remainder of 2018 season

BY COLIN CHAPDELAINE

SPORTS REPORTER

PHOTO COURTESY OF COD ATHLETICS

As the temperatures in the Coachella Valley slowly begin to drop below 100 degrees and the calendar inches closer to October, the Roadrunners head into the middle of their schedule with a current record of 1-2. Despite the losing record, the Roadrunners have displayed hard fought, explosive football so far this season, having many bright spots to continue to build upon.

The Roadrunners opened their season with a shootout loss against Pasadena City, 42-38. Sophomore starting quarterback Noah Shoeman launched a dominant attack through the air, throwing for 537 yards and 5 touchdowns, but COD came up short on their final series, driving down the field to Pasadena’s 32-yard line but failing to convert on 4th and long. The following week, the Roadrunners got into the win column with an impressive 69-10 victory over Santa Monica, their largest point differential since 2001. Shoeman continued to establish himself as a lethal passer, throwing for 275 yards and 3 touchdowns on the way to the victory. Following their week 2 win, the Roadrunners faced off with the nationally ranked Cerritos Falcons, dropping the game 65-35 for their second loss of the year. Sophomore wideout Kerrion Ringo lead the Roadrunners with 153 yards and 3 touchdownds on 5 receptions.

As the Roadrunners head into an off week, head coach Jack Steptoe is optimistic on what he’s seen from his team so far. “I feel the season is going great so far,” Steptoe said. “[We’ve had] a few injuries and a couple of losses but we will bounce back.” When asked what areas the team looks to improve upon, coach Steptoe added, “we will definitely need to improve on defense and special teams. They’re not where I would like them to be yet. We have to win special teams and stop people from scoring on defense.”

The Roadrunners are back on the field on Sept. 29 as they look to build upon the strong performances they’ve gotten out of several key players during the beginning of the season. Sophomore wide receivers Kerrion Ringo and Maurice Thomas look to continue providing Shoeman with weapons downfield. Ringo, out of Francis Joseph Reitz High School, is averaging an impressive 121.3 yards per game with 28 yards per catch. Thomas, from South Elgin High School, is also dominating opposing defenders, averaging 124 yards per game and 26.6 yards per catch. Both Ringo and Thomas are currently leading the conference in receiving yards and touchdowns. The triple threat of Shoeman under center with Ringo and Thomas out wide has lead the Roadrunners to a number one offensive ranking in Southern California over the last three weeks. Sophomore Running Back Tony Williams Jr. will look to open up the running game and stretch out opposing defenses for the Roadrunners and add yet another element to an already dangerous offense. Williams is averaging 4.3 yards per rush with 117 total yards so far this season.

On the other side of the ball, sophomore defensive linemen Datona Jackson and Aulsondro Hamilton will continue to give opposing offenses headaches, as they are averaging 4.7 and 4.0 tackles per game respectively with a total of 4 sacks through three games between them. Defensive lineman Scott Arnold also leads the defense with 1 Fumble Recovery touchdown. Freshman linebacker Quintcy Egson also looks to continue dominating on defense, currently averaging 7 tackles per game.

“I expect us to win the conference again,” said Steptoe. “If we stay healthy and play well in all three aspects of the game, we will accomplish this goal.”

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