East County Sports

Temple of Doom: Santana offense making history




Last season: 7-6 (2-1 in SDCIF Division IV playoffs, lost semifinals) / 1-3 Grossmont Valley League (4th)


Head coach: TIM ESTES (8th year)


2018: The Sultans started 4-1 last season and competed for most of the season without its starting quarterback. When he returned, Santana won a pair of playoff games, including a section record-setting offensive performance (76 points) in the opening round, eventually losing to state division champion San Diego High in a proud effort. Quarterback NATHAN TEMPLE averaged over 200 yards and two touchdowns per game in just six appearances as a junior. Top targets RANDALL SMITH, a senior, and JARED FORSTER, a junior, combined for 93 receptions last season.


OUTLOOK: Santana has 27 seniors returning from that deep playoff run. Smith had five touchdowns in the high-scoring playoff win over La Jolla Country Day and finished the season with 13 TDs. Temple says he wants to throw for 40 scores given a full season in 2019. Senior BROOKS MOUTAW gives the Sultans balance out of the spread with over 750 yards and eight touchdowns last season. The team operates behind veteran lineman LUKE SIMANEK. The veteran experience, led by a healthy CAMERON LARICCIA and Forster in the secondary, will help prevent some of last year’s leaks against superior opponents. Senior JACOB PETERSON is also coming off a very good season on both sides of the ball.


SCHEDULE: The Sultans, a sure contender for a Division IV championship, have three repeat opponents to open the season, including sectional rival Mar Vista, which Santana split a couple of games with last season, revenging a regular-season home loss by winning on the road in the second round of the playoffs. Defending league champ Monte Vista and high-octane opponent Mount Miguel will host the Sultans in tough league tests. The battle for the Mayor’s Trophy, in West Hills’ case for five straight years, but the Pack comes east down Mast Blvd. on Oct. 11.

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