May 22, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PHOTOS: Foothill’s defense steps it up a notch in 42-14 victory over crosstown rival Beckman

Foothill’s Roman Pistone picks up a gain in Friday’s game against Beckman. (Photo Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone)

Before Friday night’s nonleague clash at Tustin High, Foothill High coach Doug Case said he was most proud of the way his defense has played thus far this season.

To see the slide show, please click on the first photo

Following the Knights’ 42-14 victory over Beckman, Case was still beaming with pride as the Knights (3-0) earned their third consecutive win.

“We played physical and we bent but we didn’t break,” said Case. “Our defense has been playing nails. I’m proud of all of these kids. I think we’re coming out of this one pretty healthy. Now we get a week off before we get ready for Yorba Linda.”

Junior runningback Roman Pistone had a big night as he scored three touchdowns and rushed for 100 yards and caught five passes, including a TD pass from Luke Peterman for the Knights first score of the game.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Foothill offense turned it up a notch and put some separation between themselves and Beckman, scoring three touchdowns in a span of six minutes.   

After a Patriots punt pinned Foothill at the 3-yard line, the Knights went on a 14-play, 97-yard drive that resulted with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Peterman to Pistone, who made an outstanding catch between two defenders for the score.

“It’s a big win for us and I thought our Oline really picked it up and got after them,” said Peterman.

Josh Carter returned the ensuing kickoff for Beckman to near midfield, but a miscue would set the Patriots back.

One the first play from scrimmage, middle linebacker Carson Case (and son of Coach Doug Case) and made a diving interception over the middle to give the Knights the ball at the their 35-yard line. Three plays later, Pistone displayed his outstanding speed and outran the Beckman defense enroute to a 50-yard TD run and lifting the Knights to a 14-0 lead at 9:33 mark of the second quarter.

“We working hard as a group,” said Pistone. “We brought it on the field tonight and had a great time doing it. I think the tide game changed after our first touchdown.”

Following a Beckman three-and-out, Case came up with another momentum- turning play.

The 6-0 junior tipped a Patriots fourth down punt attempt giving the Knights the ball at the Beckman 23. It took Foothill five plays to up its lead to 21-0.

“We played a swarming defense and that was the difference tonight,” said Carson Case.  “We’re definitely moving down the right path.”

“It’s special to coach your own son, but each of these 56 kids are special and they are all my kids,” said Coach Case.

Peterman capped off the drive as he tossed his second TD pass of the game, this one a 5-yard pass to Brady Schrank over the middle as Foothill took a three-touchdown advantage into the locker room at halftime.

Behind Case and free safety Provenzano, the Knights defense forced two Patriots turnovers in the first half and held Beckman to under 70 yards of offense in the opening half. Provenzano intercepted a pass in the Patriots end zone in the closing seconds of the half to foil an excellent Beckman scoring opportunity.

Gabe Gallardo scored on a 2-yard TD run to increase the Knights lead to 28-0 early in the third quarter as Foothill pulled away. Moments later, Gallardo intercepted a tipped pass and raced 22 yards for another Knights touchdown.   

“We really played well together today and I don’t think we’ve reached our potential yet,” Gallardo said. “Tonight we cut down on our mistakes that we made in our first two games.”

Despite being down by 30 plus points the Patriots never let up.

Beckman (2-1) got on the board on a well-executed 60-yard TD pass over the middle from Jason Cheng to Carter with 5:24 to play in the third quarter. Cheng scored on an 11-yard TD run in the fourth quarter for Beckman’s other touchdown.

“They’re big and physical and well disciplined,” said Beckman Coach Marcello Giuliano.

Cheng completed 15 passes for 135 yards and a TD and he rushed for 61 yards on 12 carries to lead the Patriots. 


PASSSING: Foothill: Peterman, 12-15-0, 89 yards, 2 TDs; Beckman: Cheng 15-26-3, 135 yards, TD.

RUSHING: Foothill: Pistone, 13-100, Peterman 8-27; Beckman: Cheng 12-61, Davis 9-31.  

RECEIVING: Foothill: Pistone 4-46, Gallardo 5-54; Beckman: Fordyce 3-22, Parker 5-29. 

-Tom Connolly, For OC Sports Zone