East County Sports

Sultans give Tigers boot in overtime

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

SAN DIEGO CIF DIVISION III PLAYOFFS – First round

SANTANA 24, IMPERIAL 21 (3 OT)

 

EastCountySports.com staff report

 

SANTEE – The Santana Sultans continue to find a way to win when it comes to the San Diego CIF playoffs.

The Sultans have now reached a division quarterfinal in three consecutive postseasons after Jackson Scott kicked a 28-yard field goal in overtime, lifting Santana past Imperial, 24-21, in an SDS-CIF Division IV first-round game at Santee Community Stadium on Friday night.

In fact, the Sultans have won their last three division quarterfinal appearances (2016, ’18-19).

Santana (8-2) will travel to face top-seeded Mt. Carmel, the 11th-ranked team in the county, for a chance to reach another semifinal under head coach Tim Estes.

The Sultans finally cracked the overtime code in Friday night’s renewal of a matchup with a little bit of history with the Tigers after the teams combined for five missed field goal attempts after the score was 21-all after regulation.

Imperial thought it may have won the game with a field goal in the second overtime, as a trailing kick to the left upright was deliberated by the goal post officials for a good three seconds before they agreed the kick had missed wide.

After a scoreless first period, Logan Jorden had a 56-yard interception return early in the second quarter for the breakthrough score.

“It all happened to fast that I didn’t realize what had happened until after,” Jorden said. “The ball came my way and I caught it and took off. I put the burners on. It was the momentum we needed.”

With two minutes left in the second quarter, Alex Rico threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Dylan Anderson for a two-touchdown lead.

The drive was started with a big-time play by Ethan Wright, who turned a short toss into a 57-yard gain from Santana’s 10-yard line.

However, the Tigers were able to come back with a 25-yard touchdown pass to trail 14-6 at intermission.

Imperial pushed ahead for a 21-14 lead with 10:38 left in regulation.

“We made some mistakes giving them a short field,” Santana head coach Tim Estes said. ”

Luke Nash scored on a 1-yard yard touchdown run to tie the game with 32 seconds left for the Sultans after a couple of key plays by Wright. The drive started with five minutes to play in the game.

Midway through the fourth quarter, the Sultans thought they had recorded a safety, but Imperial still was forced to punt from its own end zone, giving the Sultans just half a field to negotiate in order to try and tie the game.

First, Wright saved a hook-and-lateral play by reaching out with one hand while still in stride to prevent a turnover and still turn the play into a gain into Tiger territory.

Then, Rico hit Wright with the pass that was taken down to the 5.

“Both defenses played really well in overtime,” Estes said. “Jackson missed on the first try because we backed him up with a penalty that put him out of his range.”

For Jackson, it was his second game-winning field goal of the season.

“The game was long and crazy,” Jorden said. “Their O-line was one of the better ones we’ve seen all season but out defense came through, as we always have. It was a great last home game dub for us seniors to go out on. We have some serious competition next week but we’ll be ready.”

The Sultans will face a one-loss Mt. Carmel on the road next Friday. Santana won a Division IV quarterfinal game at Mar Vista in 2018, 23-6.

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