SAN BERNARDINO — From the opening kickoff, Upland Scots held control in a 45-20 victory over San Bernardino Aquinas Falcons.
On the opening kickoff, junior Theo Thompson returned the ball 69 yards for a touchdown and early Scots lead which would not be surrendered.
“It’s always nice at 15 seconds to be up 7-0,” said Upland head coach Darryl Thomas. “Theo did a great job taking the kickoff. Our special team’s coordinator works tirelessly to do those things.”
Holding Aquinas scoreless through the first three quarters, Upland held a 31-0 lead going into the final quarter with their defensive line holding the Falcons to just 92 combined rushing yards.
“We got up on them big,” Thomas said. “Our defensive line did a good job. The one thing we had as an advantage over them was their guys were playing both ways and may have gotten tired. Our guys did a great job, specifically our defensive line.”
Aquinas did breakthrough in the fourth quarter, scoring three touchdowns in the final eight minutes with a strong effort from senior quarterback Dre Robles, though their comeback would fall short.
“We have to be better as coaches and have our team better prepared and we didn’t,” said Aquinas head coach Jordan Brusig. “As a coaching staff we weren’t ready and weren’t prepared and got outclassed.”
Robles led the Falcons offense throwing for 175 yards and a touchdown on 15 completions, while also rushing for 29 yards and a touchdown late in the fourth. Senior receiver and defensive back Kaden Willenford had six receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown.
“Kaden played well and had some big plays,” said Brusig.
For the Scots, junior quarterback Noah Sandoval led the charge, passing for 265 yards and four touchdowns on nine completions to seven different receivers, including two touchdowns in the fourth for 78 yards and 79 yards to put the game away for Upland.
“He’s doing a great job and he’s learning,” said Thomas of Sandoval. “He’s getting better and better each week. Hopefully by the time we get to league we are hitting on all cylinders.”