East County Sports

Sultans entertain, finish off Braves

Santana junior AUSTIN STAFF flattens a pair of Braves Friday night. / photo by Ramon Scott

2017 EAST COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

SANTANA 50, EL CAJON VALLEY 10

 

By Jim Lindgren

Special to EastCountySports.com

 

SANTEE – After a sluggish start, trailing twice and without an offensive touchdown in the first half, Santana turned up the heat on El Cajon Valley – which, by the way, led the county in record-setting heat temperatures this week.

The Sultans scored the final 43 points of the game in routing the Braves, 50-10, on Friday to thrill a homecoming crowd at Santana.

“Defensively, we were great,” Santana quarterback JOSH OEDEWALDT said. “Both halves, first and second, we started very poorly. But we picked it up in the second quarter and then again in the third quarter.

“Defense stopped them cold in the second half. I don’t think they got a first down.”

El Cajon Valley went up 7-0, then gave one back on a high snap over the punter’s head that was recovered in the end zone by IAN LITTEN for a 7-7 tie.

El Cajon Valley carries against Santana Friday night. / EastCountySports photo

El Cajon kicked a field goal for a 10-7 lead, but gave one back on another high snap over the punter’s head, and LANDON WOOD recovered that one in the end zone for a 14-10 lead heading into intermission.

“El Cajon did a good job defensively in the first half,” Santana coach TIM ESTES said. “We only had two touchdowns on those two fumble recoveries but led 14-10.”

It was all Santana after the halftime homecoming show.

Oedewaldt threw touchdown passes to CAMERON KANE for 11 yards and 41 yards. Litten rushed eight times for 63 yards, including a 14-yard TD run. Kane caught four balls for 82 yards and the two TDs.

“They came out ready to play, and we didn’t,” Santana coach TIM ESTES said. “In the first half they played really well.

“The second half we really turned it on and got things going. The defense made some big stops and gave us great field position.”

One of those was a key interception by CAMERON LaRICCIA.

“We had a couple good stops, and we were able to punch in a few touchdowns,” Estes said. “Once the offense starting clicking, things got a lot better for us.”

Wood had 12 tackles, the touchdown on the bad-snap punt, and a safety on another bad-snap punt attempt.

BRAYDEN NIETO posted 11 tackles, JOSE TORREZ added nine tackles and Litten seven, plus his touchdown on special teams.

Kane had a 49-yard punt return that, one play later, set up his 41-yard scoring reception.

“I was really happy with the way the kids played in the second half,” Estes said. “We played every person on the team. We have a lot of young guys, and they were able to get some good playing time and experience.”

One of those was sophomore backup quarterback NATHAN TEMPLE, normally the Sultans’ JV QB. He was 3 of 4 passing for 47 and a touchdown.

El Cajon Valley (2-7, 0-3) plays at Granite Hills (7-2, 3-0) on Friday.

Santana (4-5, 1-2 Grossmont Valley League) finishes the regular season next Friday at Mount Miguel (3-6, 1-2), which had a bye. The Sultans are playing for a spot in the Division III playoffs.

“I don’t think we’ll get a first-round bye or a home game,” Estes said. “Hopefully we’ll get an eighth or ninth seed in the playoffs.”

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