East County Sports

Sultans’ ride ends with road playoff loss at UC

University City keeps the ball on Friday night. / TRyan photography photo

By Adam Paul

© EastCountySports.com 


SAN DIEGO (11-21-15) — In a much anticipated matchup in the San Diego Section CIF Division IV football playoffs, the No. 7 seeded Santana Sultans traveled to University City to take on the No. 2 Centurions.


However, the Sultans (7-5) couldn’t take advantage of the opportunities given early on and the Centurions (9-2) used their athleticism to take the 56-20 victory and put an end to the magical run of the Sultans.


The Sultans on their first drive couldn’t come away with anything despite getting into UC territory to the 46-yard line where they would be stopped on a fourth down play.  The home team Centurions would move into Sultans territory all the way down to the 36-yard marker where the Sultans defense would force a fumble that would be recovered by Sultan defender MANUEL MOLINA who would return it to midfield.


TRyan Photography photo

The Sultans couldn’t take advantage of the field position thanks to a couple of costly penalties and a stifling Centurion defense.  The drive would stall out at the 23-yard line of University City.


The Centurions would finally break through on offense on a long pass play equaling 22-yards from Drake Aguon to Casey Granfors all the way to the Sultans 39-yard line. A couple of plays later and it would be 7-0 in favor of the Centurions thanks to a 13-yard strike from Aguon to Kyle Strobbe with about four minutes to go in the quarter.  Both teams would go scoreless for the rest of the first quarter.


All the experts were pretty evenly split when it came to picking this contest as both teams were pretty evenly matched.  Unfortunately in the second quarter, the Centurions would scorch the Sultans for five scores behind four touchdown passes by Aguon.


Santana quarterback Frankie Gutierrez passes on Friday night at University City in the San Diego CIF Playoffs. / TRyan Photography photo

Santana would do their best to match the Centurions score for score as the Sultans’ star quarterback FRANKIE GUTIERREZ (18-32, 229 and 1 TD) would do his best as he was involved in all the Santana scoring of the quarter.  He would toss two scores and run for another.  Santana scored their first touchdown via an AIDEN RASSMUSON (10-106, 1 TD) 22-yard catch. The run was a 55-yard scamper only a couple of minutes into the quarter.

Frankie Gutierrez
Original 16-29-229, 1 TD
New Change 18-32-246, 2 TD
Aidan Rasmusson
Original 9-97, 1 TD
New Change 10-106, 1 TD

The third Sultan score on a 54-yard Gutierrez strike to BROCK ELLIS (3-86, TD) would leave the Sultans trailing 28-20 with about 3:18 remaining in the half. That would be the closest they would get as University City, as Marcus Patterson took the ensuing kickoff 96-yards to make the score 35-20 and they would score again to take the 41-20 lead into the half.


Santana, despite the big run by Gutierrez, really couldn’t get their run game going in the first half.  University City pretty much stymied the run game and made Santana pass as BOBBY WALLACE, star tailback for the Sultans was held to 26-yards in the half and on the night finished with 33-yards on 12 carries.


The air game for the Centurions was just too much as Aguon threw for 310 yards on 21-27 and 6 touchdowns which put him with good company in the CIF record book.


It was a great season for the Sultans that saw them finish 7-5 and also many records were broken including a few individual ones. Santana will look to continue their magic next year as they return a majority of their roster and hopefully bring a championship.

Santana pressures the UC QB on Friday. / TRyan Photography photo

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