Gonzaga cruises past Coolidge, 35-0, in season opener

After scoring his second touchdown of the first quarter Friday night, Robbie Walker took off his helmet, sat back on the Gonzaga bench, and grinned.

At the time it seemed like a quick break, but it turned out the junior running back was able to take most of the rest of the night off.

“I expected to have to come out hard,” Walker said. “Then once we got the quick two [scores], I knew it wasn’t going to be very long.”

Walker rushed nine times for 93 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, Reginald Corbin spelled him with five carries for 103 yards and two touchdowns, and Gonzaga played its reserves the entire second half of a season-opening 35-0 win over Coolidge at Multi-Sport Field at Georgetown University.

The Eagles (1-0), the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference runners-up last year, held Coolidge (0-1) to 110 total yards and five first downs, exposing several glaring weaknesses for a Colts squad that played in last season’s Turkey Bowl and is again expected to contend in the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association West.

Gonzaga's Robbie Walker carries the ball for a first down as he gets pursued by Coolidge's Tre'Von King, left, and Anthony Stewart, right, in the first quarter. (Ricky Carioti/WASHINGTON POST)

“The whole team effort is what we’re proud of,” Gonzaga Coach Aaron Brady said. “In order to get better and have a shot to win our league you have to play like that.”

Gonzaga dominated the line of scrimmage from the beginning, and Walker and Corbin made the most of the opportunities their offensive front created.

Walker scored on a four-yard run to cap the Eagles’ 72-yard opening drive less than two minutes into the game, and he made a devastating cut up field to score again from 20 yards out on Gonzaga’s next possession.

Walker would have scored a third first-quarter touchdown when he returned an interception more than 60 yards on a Coolidge fake punt, but a holding penalty nullified that bizarre play.

Corbin broke a 41-yard touchdown run on the ensuing Gonzaga possession instead, and he added a 12-yard touchdown run with 3 minutes 25 seconds left in the second quarter.

Backup quarterback Chris Schultz came in for starter Connor Ennis and threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Jabari Greenwood in the final minute before halftime, triggering the 35-point mercy rule and a running clock for the entire second half.

“[We] did some good things and some bad things, but this was good for them,” Coolidge Coach Natalie Randolph said. “This was our litmus. Now we have something to look at, so you can’t be mad at that.”

The second half sped by as the clock ran continuously, and by the time the final whistle blew, a well-rested Walker and the Eagles were already thinking ahead to Thursday’s game against McDonogh at the University of Maryland’s Byrd Stadium.

“We ran our offense the whole first half because next week is going to be a war,” Brady said. “A good team makes its biggest jump between its first game and its second.”

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