Whittier Christian’s Quinn Commans and Cade McGee connected on five touchdown passes to give the Heralds a 48-29 win over the Bishop Union Broncos in the opening game of the season Friday night at Whittier College.
“That’s the way you want to start the season off, 1-0, feels good” said head coach Sergio Gradilla.
Whittier Christian started the contest off showing some first game jitters, giving up a sack on the first play from scrimmage and being forced to punt after three plays.
The Heralds defense opened up their first possession on the football field in much better fashion by forcing a fourth down turnover on their own 30 yard line as the Broncos were driving down the field to score.
Quarterback Quinn Commans and Running Back Justin Osborn calmed the offense down and led them on a 68 yard touchdown drive capped off with a one yard rush by Commans.
After a second straight strong defensive stand by Whittier Christian in which they only gave up two yards to the Bishop Union offense. The Heralds were in position to take a commanding lead of the game.
The Heralds offense took advantage quickly, finishing off a five play, 73-yard drive with a 42 yard touchdown pass from Commans to Wide Receiver McGee. Commans and McGee were on the same page all night and really made the offense go, “me and him have been playing together since seventh grade so we have that chemistry,” said Commans.
Commans finished the game with 443 yards passing and four touchdowns while McGee added 208 yards receiving with three touchdowns.
Whittier Christian had taken all the moment out of the Broncos after going up 14-0 before the end of the first quarter. Until quarterback Ryan Graves of Bishop Union took the snap and ran for a 73 yard touchdown right before the end of the first quarter, getting the Broncos right back in the game.
The touchdown by Graves put some life into the Broncos defense, giving the ball back to their offense after giving up one first down to the Heralds offense.
Broncos quarterback Ryan Graves went right back to work after a 25 yard end-around running play by running back Sean Brown, Graves took the very next play to the end zone on 55 yard rush, making the score 14-14 midway through the second quarter.
Both teams made mistakes and failed to finish off drives near the end of the half. Bishop Union was driving entire length of the field, which eventually set up first and goal on the Heralds three yard line.
Whittier Christians defense held strong, forcing a fumble on the second play which went out of the back of the Heralds end zone. By rule, giving the Heralds the ball back on their own 20 yard line.
Whittier Christian couldn’t take advantage of the Broncos miscue, finishing off their offensive drive with a fumble on the Broncos four yard line just as they were driving down the field to take the lead.
The Heralds had an ideal start to the second half, making the Broncos punt after a three-and-out series. Then on the second play from scrimmage of the second half Commans and McGee connected on an 85 yard touchdown pass from their own 15 yard line, there second connection for a touchdown in the game.
“They did it all summer so we were hoping it would translate over to the season and we knew it would,” said Gradilla.
The defense of Whittier Christian was stingy most of the night, giving up two more touchdowns in the second half. The Heralds defense gave up four touchdowns total, all on rushing plays over 40 yards long.
The Bishop Union offense wasn’t able to get much offense going other than the big plays, which the defense will work to limit going forward in the season according to Gradilla.
After relinquishing the lead late in the third quarter the Heralds turned it on. Justin Osborn took the lead back with a 22 yard rushing touchdown. Osborn finished the game with 164 yards rushing and one touchdown, “he’s a beast to try and tackle,” said Gradilla.
There was no looking back for the Heralds who outscored Bishop Union 22-7 in the fourth quarter. Commans and McGee hooked up for another touchdown pass in the fourth quarter for 55 yards.