Whether the teams are 9-0 or 0-9, the community of Murrieta always comes out for Vista Murrieta vs. Murrieta Valley football. Thursday night’s game was for the Southwestern League championship, so some 6,000 fans jammed into Murrieta Valley High’s stadium and were treated to a duel of quarterbacks.
Boise State-bound Hank Bachmeier of Murrieta Valley, in what was likely his final home game, completed a seven-yard touchdown pass to Emilio Valencia at the end of the second quarter to set a Southern Section record for career touchdown passes at 153, breaking the mark established by JT Daniels of Santa Ana Mater Dei. Bachmeier later added No. 154 on a 97-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Murry.
Then there was junior quarterback Robert Coleman of Vista Murrieta. He passed for four touchdowns and ran for 145 yards and one touchdown to lift the Broncos (8-2, 5-0) past Murrieta Valley 35-21 and win the league title in the first year for head coach Eric Peterson.
Peterson was the defensive coordinator when Coley Candaele built the Broncos into a powerhouse. Candaele has returned to coach special teams. “We’re trying to get the culture back,” Peterson said.
Certainly Coleman’s determination and toughness were on display running the option play and also throwing touchdown passes of 34 and 10 yards to Rickie Johnson and 23 and nine yards to Alex Hill. Coleman completed six of 11 passes for 128 yards.
Vista Murrieta’s defense recorded four sacks and made three interceptions, all by Hunter Escorcia.
Bachmeier completed 15 of 32 passes for 281 yards. He has nearly 10,300 career yards passing and those 154 TDs in four years as a varsity starter.
Murrieta Valley got as close as 28-21 in the third quarter on Murry’s 97-yard reception and a two-point conversion pass.
Both Vista Murrieta and Murrieta Valley have guaranteed spots in next week’s Southern Section Division 1 playoffs.