One day, sometime this season, Coronado will be able to put a complete game together where the offense and defense plays all four quarters.

For now, however, head coach Seth Parr is just glad the offense did enough in the first half and the defense closed it out in the second half to get the winless gorilla off the Mustangs’ collective back.

Quarterback Sawyer Robertson threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, and the Mustangs defense came within less than a minute of pitching a second-half shutout in a 44-27 victory over Odessa Thursday night at PlainsCapital Park at Lowrey Field.

“Everything is hard for us,” Parr said. “I think a lot of our stuff is self-made, and we’ve just got to finish.”

The Mustangs (1-2) certainly had their share of miscues throughout the game, including fumbling on the first play from scrimmage and taking advantage of only one of the three interceptions recorded by the defense. But they also made their share of plays to keep the Bronchos (1-2) at bay in the second half after watching Odessa play ball-control in the first half.

Despite winning by three scores, Coronado ran 33 fewer plays (77-41) than Odessa, countering the ball control by the Bronchos with big plays and quick drives. After the fumble on the first play, the Mustangs scored on their final five drives of the first half to forge a 30-20 lead at halftime, then turned it over to the defense.

Odessa scored with nine seconds left in the second quarter to pull to within 10, but it would be the Bronchos’ final points until 55 seconds remained in the contest. By that time, the Mustangs had put the game out of reach.

Imari Jones and Javien Weatherly had an interception each in the second half. A key fourth-down stop with just under nine minutes to play proved to be the decisive turn the Mustangs needed. On the very next play after the stop, Jon Hernandez took a pass on the bubble screen in the left flat, cut through two blocks and raced untouched 68 yards for the touchdown to put the Mustangs up 37-20 with 8:42 to play.

It was only the second non-penalty first down for the Mustangs in the second half and capped an eight-catch, 173-yard performance by the senior receiver. Robertson finished with 319 passing yards and two touchdowns, and he also ran for a score in the first half. But it was the defense in the second half that made the difference.

“I think our defense played a lot better in the second half,” Parr said. “Now, I want our defense and offense to play at the same time, and that’s kind of where we’re at … I thought we had a play on a punt return … but we can’t just score on a punt return and end it there … In the fourth quarter we finally got a big play from Jon on the bubble screen and finally put the nail in the coffin, but it was hard. (Odessa) did a good job of adjusting.”

After giving up 20 points and 227 yards in the first half, the Mustangs allowed just 136 yards in the second half and forced three second-half turnovers, one of which led to the game-clinching touchdown on a 55-yard interception return by Jones with just under 7 minutes left in the game.

The pick-six was one of four turnovers in the game for the Bronchos, three coming in the second half that kept them from maintaining their ball-control game plan.

“We can’t take anything away from coach Parr and Coronado. We knew they’d be ready to play when we came in here,” Odessa head coach Danny Servance said. “We thought our guys did a good job of coming in here the first half and executing the game plan and playing ball-control.”

Player of the Game

Coronado Team Defense

It would be easy to single out a player for this, but Coronado doesn’t win this game without the plays made on defense and special teams. While the Mustangs held Odessa scoreless in the second half until less than a minute was left in the fourth quarter, they put the game away with a key fourth down stop that led to a Jon Hernandez touchdown, then sealed it with a 55-yard Imari Jones interception return for a touchdown.

Key Play

Give it up for the Mustangs defense. In a 10-point game midway through the fourth quarter, they came up with a huge stop on fourth down at the Coronado 32. On the next play, Sawyer Robertson hit Jon Hernandez on the bubble screen, and Hernandez went 68 yards untouched for the touchdown to put the Mustangs up by three scores.

What’s next?

Odessa hits the road again, this time heading west to face El Paso Montwood next Thursday. Coronado returns to PlainsCapital Park at :owrey Field on Sept. 20 to face out-of-state foe Clovis, NM before opening District 2-5A, Division I play the following week against crosstown rival Lubbock High.