East County Sports

East teams reverse field on Thursday

Santana quarterback Alex Rico. / Ken Todd



By Nick Pellegrino


FALLBROOK — Santana High quarterback Alex Rico fired three touchdown passes within a span of less than 11 minutes Thursday (Sept. 7), but the defense of Fallbrook was able to shut down the Sultans in the fourth quarter to emerge with a 28-21 non-league victory over the Sultans.

Both ballclubs are now 3-1 overall on the season.

The Warriors mounted a 21-0 lead in the first half, including a score with a minute remaining before the intermission.

However, Rico mounted a final-minute drive, with the final 40 yards coming on a connection with Trent Taylor to finally reach the scoreboard.

The momentum carried into the second half as Rico fired TD passes of 16 and 22 yards, the first to Michael Valenzuela.

However, the fourth period belonged to Fallbrook.

Running back Sebastian Cardinale capped a long drive with an 8-yard run. Then the defense saw safety William Sherman intercept Rico in the red zone to thwart the ensuing drive.

Santana gained one final possession but ran out of time as the Sultans approached midfield.

Fallbrook now leads the all-time series, 4-0. The Warriors won last season, 37-12, and in the teams’ initial meeting, 26-7, in 1983 when they posted a perfect 10-0 regular-season record, yet were upset by Mira Mesa in the opening round of the CIFSDS playoffs.

Meanwhile, Santana saw its 6-game regular-season winning streak snapped. The Sultans next open Grossmont Valley League play at El Capitan.

Fallbrook jumped out to an early 21-0 lead on two touchdown runs by Chris Bausch of 17 yards and 1 yard as he carried the ball for 126 yards.

The Warriors’ Evan Thomas threw for 125 yards passing, as he connected on a 41-yard pass to wide receiver Wilson Christopherson, who had 74 yards receiving.

Rico threw for 204 yards, while Taylor had 89 yards receiving), He connected on a 21-yarder to Ramiro Carrero for the tie.

“Alex Rico is a good player,” Fallbrook head coach Ross Johnson said. “He did a good job of playing with a lot of composure but our defense played well against him with some big sacks and batting the ball down.

Fallbrook regained the lead at 28-21 as running back Grant Hall (66 yards rushing) scored the final touchdown on an 8-yard run

“Leading 14-0, we got off to a good start where our squad wanted to be,” Johnson said. “We ran the ball effectively when we had a 21-0 which helped.

“Our offense put on a nice drive to go up 21-7, which kept us in the game and gave our players momentum. Evan Thomas did a really nice job throwing the ball on the game-winning drive and Grant Hall scored did a nice job of reading his blocks.”


Santana (3-1)    0  7 14  0 – 21
Fallbrook (3-1)  0 14  0  7 - 28
F – Bausch TD 17 (Dickey kick)
F – Bausch TD 1 (Dickey kick)
F – Christopherson 41 pass from Thomas (Dickey kick)
S – Taylor 40 passfrom Rico (Thomas kick)
S – Valenzuela 16 pass from Rico (Thomas kick)
S – Carrero 22 pass from Rico (Thomas kick)

F – Cardinale  8 run (Dickey kick)

PATRICK HENRY 35, WEST HILLS 14- The Wolf Pack tied the game at 7-all in the 2nd quarter on a 3-yard run by Diego Calderon.

The Patriots took a 14-7 lead on the last play of the half on an option pass by Zack Morales for a touchdown on fourth down.

Morales also caught a 34-yard score from Trey Vasquez for a 28-7 lead.

Trailing 28-7, Joe Hamilton rushed for a TD for the Wolf Pack on a quarterback sneak.

Vasquez helped give the Pats a 21-7 lead with his second touchdown pass, coming in the third quarter on another fourth-down conversion try.

Calderon had a 60-yard run in the first quarter.

The Sultans lost for the first time in four starts.

Patrick Henry improved to 1-2 after blowout losses at the hands of St. Augustine and Mt. Carmel.

OLYMPIAN 19, VALHALLA 0 – Valhalla fell to 2-1 as the Eagles won on the road.

The Eagles scored all 19 of their points in the first half on three touchdowns.


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