East County Sports

Fabulous Frankie leads Sultans to fifth win


Photo by EastCountySports.com

By Jim Lindgren

© East County Sports.com


SPRING VALLEY (10-10-15) — Listed generously at 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds, FRANKIE GUTIERREZ nonetheless is doing some heavy lifting for the resurgent Santana Sultans this season.


The third-year starting quarterback accounted for all five touchdowns on Friday night (Oct. 9) as the Sultans thwarted Monte Vista 35-13 in the Grossmont Valley League opener for both squads.  SHS at MV Score


In spoiling the Monarchs’ homecoming game, Gutierrez rushed for three touchdowns and threw for two more as Santana snapped a three-game losing streak to the Monarchs, who had won those three by a combined 130-20.


Santana (5-2, 1-0) has now matched its win total of the past two years – 4-6 in 2014 and 1-9 in 2013 – and can match its three-year total of six wins when it plays host to El Cajon Valley in two weeks after a bye next week. The Sultans’ losses were 41-38 to Castle Park and 27-21 to Mar Vista – both fates sealed with the winning touchdown coming inside two minutes left to play.


Monte Vista (2-5, 0-1) gained 269 yards but suffered four turnovers and a blocked punt to give Santana advantageous field position on several possessions.



Frankie Gutierrez comes out of melee after scoring Friday night. / Photo by Ramon Scott

Gutierrez rushed 10 times for 88 yards, including touchdowns of 44, 1 and 1 yards. He completed 10-of-16 passes for 135 yards, including scoring passes of 15 yards to BOBBY WALLACE and 36 yards to BROCK ELLIS.


“I was very impressed with their quarterback,” Monte Vista coach RON HAMAMOTO said. “We saw him on film, but he’s something else in person. He’s pretty talented. He threw some really nice balls. He had a really nice touch on his ball.”


Santana coach TIM ESTES has had three seasons to admire his senior signal-calling captain, who also maintains a 4.5 grade-point average in the classroom.


“Frankie is an excellent high school quarterback,” Estes said. “The only thing that might keep him from playing in college is his size. He’s a very accurate passer (65% completion rate) and a good runner when he keeps on the option.”


Gutierrez now has 341 rushing yards and 13 scoring runs in guiding an offense averaging 38.6 points per game. He’s now thrown for 1,278 yards and 14 touchdowns. Last year he had 1,312 passing yards and eight TDs. As a sophomore, he had 1,056 yards and four TDs.



Photo by Ramon Scott

“He paid his dues as a sophomore,” Estes said. “He really got beat up. His first varsity pass was a pick-six for the other team.”


Gutierrez set the tone early on Friday. After Monte Vista attempted an onside kick to start the game – it was pounced on ANDERS TOLHURST – Gutierrez took the second play of the game 44 yards into the end zone. He deftly faked an inside handoff to Wallace, pulled the ball out and raced around left end for the seemingly easy score.


“He made a great read and fake on that first one,” Hamamoto said, “and we couldn’t tackle him.”


Midway through the first quarter, Monte Vista got a fumble recovery by CAMRYN BUTLER at the Santana 23-yard line, and JACCOB JARDIM scored five plays later on a 2-yard run to make it 7-6 after the point-after kick clanked off the left upright.


Late in the first quarter, Santana’s DOMENIC DEHOYOS recovered a Monte Vista fumble at the Monarch 29-yard line. On the first play of the second quarter, Gutierrez flipped a short “waggle” pass to Wallace who took it into the end zone for a 15-yard TD and a 14-6 lead.


Monte Vista’s next two drives both lasted 10 plays, but the first ended on an incomplete pass on fourth-and-goal from the 9-yard line, and the latter ended on a sack by JOSH PISIA.


In between those, Santana had a yeoman-like 15-play, 91-yard scoring drive that featured 11 rushes and a key 23-yard first down on a pass from Gutierrez to ADAM CHILDRESS. Wallace rushed eight times on the drive for 34 yards before an ankle injury limited him to only one more carry. He finished with 72 yards on 18 carries.


Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 9.29.29 PMGutierrez finished the drive with a run of 13 yards and then a 1-yard scoring plunge to make it 21-6 at halftime.


Santana’s offensive line played well throughout the game, especially so on that drive. They are JACOB KITTEN (6-2, 275), TRENT FORSTER (6-2, 250), MATTHEW WHTCOMB (5-10, 195), ADAM VARGO (5-8, 215), DYLAN BROWN (6-4, 250) and Dehoyos (6-1, 185).


“When your offensive line is dominating, that’s the smart thing to do. Keep it going,” Hamamoto said. “I think they just outplayed us on the offensive and defensive lines. I have to look at the film, but we struggled to move the ball and struggled to stop them.”


Monte Vista went three-and-out on its first possession of the second half and essentially gave away seven more points when the punt snap sailed over Jardim’s head for a 37-yard loss and a first-and-goal from the 4 for the Sultans.


Three plays later, Gutierrez scored again on a 1-yard run for a 28-6 lead.


Monte Vista refused to quit, though. After an interception in the end zone by PERRY STEELE, the Monarchs drove 80 yards in eight plays with TRE OWENS scoring on a 9-yard end run to pull within 28-15.

Early in the fourth quarter, Santana sophomore LANDON WOOD blocked a punt to give the Sultans possession at the 32-yard line. Three plays later, Gutierrez fired to Ellis for a 36-yard TD and a 35-13 lead.


“We created some turnovers that put us in some great field position,” Estes said. “I was really happy with the way the offense played. We ran the ball well. We threw it well.


“The punter (Ellis) kicked the crud out of the ball, and TIMMY TISCHER was perfect on all his kicks.  All in all, we played well in all aspects of the game.”


Tischler was 5-of-5 on PATs and is now 32-of-33 for the season to go with five field goals. Ellis averaged 49 yards on his two punts, and Gutierrez nailed a 41-yarder on a quick-punt by the quarterback. Wide receiver AIDEN RASMUSSON had four receptions for 37 yards, and Ellis caught two balls for 49 yards.


On defense for the Sultans, JAMES BRANSON and STEPHEN ROE had interceptions, and MATTHEW HOMAN posted his seventh sack of the season.


Santana began the game at No. 9 in the Division IV Power Rankings that determine the 12 teams that will make the playoffs. Based on a tougher schedule to date, Monte Vista was No. 8. These teams will obviously flip-flop next week.


“We definitely can win league,” said Gutierrez, adding: “I feel like we’re the underdog pretty much every game.”


Monte Vista’s Jardim rushed 16 times for 91 yards and a TD. Sophomore quarterback DENNIS DAHLIN was 8-of-16 passing for 126 yards. Owens caught six of those for 108 yards and rushed 12 times for 47 yards. ELIJAH BELL added 53 yards on 13 carries.


“I thought (Dahlin) threw some nice passes,” Hamamoto said. “He’s like any other sophomore playing varsity. He’s going to have some growing pains and make some mistakes here and there. But he’s getting better. He’s showing signs.”


Monte Vista, which leads the overall series with Santana at 24-13-3, plays at El Cajon Valley next week.


In a strange twist of scheduling and unfortunate circumstances, Santana’s junior varsity has three weeks in a row with no games. Monte Vista and El Cajon Valley are not fielding JVs this year, and the Sultans have a bye next week.


As a result, Estes called several JV players up to the varsity for Friday’s game. Wood, who had the blocked punt, was one of them. Another, sophomore ZACH HIRT, was in on a fumble recovery.


“We had a number of kids get some playing time tonight,” Estes said. “In the fourth quarter, the majority of the defense was JV guys.”

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