The San Francisco 49ers Charlie Wedemeyer Memorial Coach of the Week award for week five goes to Tim Adams from Terra Nova High School in Pacifica, CA.
Coach Adams and the Terra Nova Tigers put together a complete performance against the Capuchino Mustangs on their way to a 49 – 14 victory to improve their 2017 record to 4 – 1. The Tigers were able to overcome adversity and injury on the road against a tough Mustangs team.
The Tigers came into the game missing four starters on the team. Starting running back Brandon Auelua was out with a high ankle sprain. The offense would lean on two backs with very little experience to pick up the load that Auelua usually carries. Coach Adams also sat three other starters due to conduct issues, meaning more young players would have to step up in their absence.
The opening quarter was not what the Tigers had hoped for. Coach Adams's offense found themselves turning the ball over on downs twice while the defense surrendered a score to put the Tigers behind early.
The Tigers' opening drive was stopped on 4th down near midfield. This gave Capuchino favorable field position and they made the most of it. It took the Mustangs eight plays to drive 57 yards where they put the ball in the end zone to go ahead 6 – 0. The Terra Nova offense finally hit their stride on the next possession, but were unable to put any points on the board. On 4th and one from the 1-yard line, Tiger running back Layne Couri mishandled a high snap that caused him to miss the hole the offensive line created. This led to Couri being tackled for a loss and turning the ball over on downs once again to Capuchino.
The following three quarters saw the Tigers turn their fortunes around, and it would start with the defense forcing the Mustangs to punt the ball to Coach Adams's team in the second quarter. Quarterback Nate Gordon found receiver Jackson Kubal for a ten-yard score on the ensuing drive to put the Tigers up 7 – 6. The Tigers never relinquished the lead for the rest of the night.
After a timely interception by safety Vince Mini, the Tigers offense would drive 75 yards in six plays. Gordon scrambled for 35 yards to set up another touchdown by the Tigers' offense. Gordon found receiver Mario Fare for another touchdown pass to push the score to 14 – 6. Coach Adams's team would again find the end zone when Gordon and wide receiver Richard Walls connected for a 36-yard touchdown, increasing their lead to 21 – 6 right before halftime.
The two teams came out of the locker room and traded touchdowns with one another. The Mustangs gave themselves great field position after a long kickoff return to start the third quarter. They scored quickly by way of a 14 yard run in an effort to mount a comeback and put the score at 21 – 14. Coach Adams's team answered the Capuchino score on the next possession after a 41-yard touchdown run by Giovanni Fabiani-Wyatt, putting the Tigers up 28 – 14. Capuchino's next drive consumed a lot of the time on the clock and seemed to have scored to keep the comeback alive. A penalty, however, would negate the touchdown and push the Mustangs farther away from the end zone. The Tigers' defense stopped the Mustangs on 4th down to get the ball back.
This would be the turning point for both teams as Capuchino would not get a chance to score again. The ensuing drive saw the Tigers score after only four plays. Fabiani-Wyatt was responsible for most of the yardage on the drive. On the first play of the drive he broke off a 28-yard run and three plays later he scored on a 48-yard touchdown run to push the score to 35 – 14. The Tigers offense scored two more times on their way to a 49 – 14 victory.
The team as a whole had an outstanding game that saw multiple players impact the game in ways they hadn't done yet this season.
Even with their starting running back out for the game, the Tigers rushed for a season high 289 yards. The two running backs that helped produce these numbers were junior Layne Couri and junior Giovanni Fabiani-Wyatt. Couri amassed 101 yards and one touchdown on 15 rushes and Fabiani-Wyatt carried the ball five times on his way to racking up 117 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
"These guys haven't had action running the ball coming into this game, as they are both defensive starters. This says a lot about our offensive line as these two juniors came in and did a really good job," said Coach Adams on the running game. "Giovanni is one of the best corners in our league and is very physical with good speed. Lane is a really physical inside linebacker. He has a 3.8 GPA and is a coach's dream. They both came in during tough circumstances and had great games."
Coach Adams made sure to mention the outstanding effort his offensive line put into this game to allow the running backs to have such a great game. "The offensive line is a really good group that keeps getting better each week. Both guards and tackles are returning starters from last year and the center is very consistent with his snaps."
Quarterback Nate Gordon had a stand out night, gaining 244 yards and three touchdowns in the air, while rushing for 68 yards and one score. Coach Adams likened the Gordon's pedigree to that of the Manning Family in that he comes from a long line of successful quarterbacks.
"Nate comes from a long line of quarterbacks. His father was a quarterback at Boise State and his brother plays at Washington State," said Coach Adams. "He is like a coach on the field. You can see that because he doesn't make bad decisions and knows when to make good plays on his feet too."
The receiving corps showed that defenses must prepare for the unit as a whole, not just one man in the unit. The Tigers' leading receiver on the season, Scotty Tomei, was held to one catch for four yards against the Mustangs. Tomei never complained, as he knew the defense keying on him opened up his teammates to have great performances catching the ball. Mario Fare pulled in three catches for 23 yards and one touchdown. Richard Walls caught four balls and gained 98 yards and one score. Jackson Kubal had a big night as he reeled in eight catches for 119 yards and one touchdown.
"We run a four wide system and try to spread it around a lot. The outside receivers were catching the ball this week for us. We took what the defense gave us. Nate went through his progressions and moved the chains," said Coach Adams on the passing game. "Everyone is unselfish and that is the beauty of this ball club."
The defense had an all-around great performance, but their second half effort was one that every coach hopes for. The defense held the Capuchino quarterback to only two completions for 20 yards in the entire second half. The defense also limited the Mustangs to just one score throughout the final two quarters.
"Our secondary did a great job stopping the passing game. Our defensive front is quick and elusive and are really tough to block. The outside linebackers are really good at stopping the run on the outside. We have a bend don't break mentality and it works. We are only averaging giving up 12 points a game," said Coach Adams on his defense's performance.
Coach Adams had nothing but positive things to say about his team's great performance in the face of adversity. "I think that they learned that they have to toe the line and always be good character kids. There are consequences for negative actions. Moving forward, we can have adversity and still come away with success. We have our heads in the right place for our games coming up."
Coach Adams also noted that this award did not belong to just him, but his whole staff. "I want to recognize Defensive Coordinator Dan Armstrong for the way he handles the defense. Assistant Head Coach Fred Hart also helps keep the players in line and on task. We have a good mix of young and old coaches and really gel well as a staff on this team."
"I also want to thank my mentor, Coach Bill Gray, who coached for 43 years at Terra Nova in my position. I consult with him on a daily basis about life and football," said Coach Adams on his mentor.
Coach Adams, in his tenth year as head coach at Terra Nova, spoke on what winning this award means to him. "Charlie Wedemeyer was a total inspiration to me as a coach. It is such an honor to even be included with an award with his name on it," said Coach Adams. "I aspire to be like Charlie and have a great deal of respect for him. He is a true legend."
As our Charlie Wedemeyer Memorial Coach of the Week, Tim Adams will receive a $1,000 grant for the Terra Nova High School football program from the 49ers Foundation. As part of this award, he will also receive two tickets to a 49ers home game where he will be recognized on the field. Coach Adams will also be invited to visit the SAP Performance Facility to watch a closed practice where head coach Kyle Shanahan will officially present him with his award. Coach Adams will be featured on the 49ers Cal-Hi Sports Report on Sunday's at 6 & 10 PM on NBC Sports and re-broadcast throughout the week.
Congratulations, Coach Adams!