East County Sports

Hot Sultans 2-0 in Grossmont Valley

Santana tackles Mount Miguel's Chris Akridge on Friday. / Ramon Scott

Mount Miguel tries to bring down Santana. / Ramon Scott





The Santana Sultans improved to 2-0 in the Grossmont Valley League by outscoring the Mount Miguel Matadors, 28-7 in the second half, in a 35-24 road victory on Friday night.

Sultans senior Nick Leger rushed for two touchdowns and caught a TD pass from Alex Rico in the best performance of his career.

“Wherever the coaches put me, I am happy to play wherever as long as we are winning,” Leger said. “We knew we had to turn it around in time for league play. We know it is going to be a battle for the rest of the season.”

Michael Valenzuela scored on a 9-yard touchdown run for Santana in the third quarter.

Santana runs against Mount Miguel on Friday. / Ramon Scott

“We’re doing great after our rough start,” Valenzuela said, “I ‘m happy with this team and I’m happy with the way we are playing.”

Defensive pressure from the Sultans forced an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone to gain a 25-24 lead 1:13 into the fourth.

Santana’s defense, led by Landen Bailey and Isaiah Lloyd, helped slow the big-play ability of the Matadors in the second half.

Leger’s 16-yard touchdown with 9:02 left in the game extended the lead to 32-24.

Senior Jackson Scott, skilled with a pair of onside kicks which the Sultans recovered and turned into scoring drives, added a 35-yard field goal with just under seven to play.

Mount Miguel’s super playmaking tandem of receiver Jeremiah Castillo and quarterback Matthew Barton struck twice for touchdowns.

Barton also had a 1-yard touchdown run.

Castillo scored on a 23-yard slant in the second quarter, then hauled in a 69-yard deep ball as the Matadors regained the lead 24-23 with 2:39 to play in the third quarter.

Santana head coach Tim Estes claimed his 57th career win as head coach of the Sultans, tying him with his former mentor and friend Dave Gross for the most in school history. Estes replaced Gross following the 2011 season when Gross was the county Coach of the Year and was his defensive coordinator on the Santana staff.

“I’ll have to give him a call and tell him,” Estes said. “Of course, he has many more wins than that with his coaching career (with other stops at Imperial and El Cajon Valley).”

The Sultans coach can be the school’s all-time winningest coach with a home victory over El Capitan next Friday, but Vaquero coach Ron Burner is shooting for his 100th career victory with the Vaqueros.


Santana      7  0 16 12 - 35

Mount Miguel 7 10  7  0 - 24

S — Leger 35 reception from Rico (Jackson kick)

MM — Castillo 23 reception from Barton (Salgado kick)

MM — Barton 1 run (Salgado kick)

MM — Salgado 26 FG

S — Valenzuela 9 run (Bailey pass from Scott)

S — Leger 2 run (Leger run)

M — Castillo 69 pass from Barton (Salgado kick)

S — Safety, intentional grounding in the end zone

S — Leger 16 run (Scott kick)

S — Scott 35 FG


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