May 29, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

It’s finally here! Santa Ana and Orange meet for league title with a sellout crowd expected

Orange gets ready to take the field for a game this season. (Photo Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone)

It’s a game that Santa Ana and Orange High football fans, players and coaches have been waiting for all season.

Ever since league play started, this game figured to be for supremacy for the Orange Coast League.

It finally happens Friday night when Santa Ana (6-3, 4-0) faces Orange (8-1, 4-0) for the Orange Coast League title at Chapman University. Orange is the home team for the game that starts at 7 p.m.

The game is expected to be a sellout with gates opening at 5:30 p.m. and whatever remaining tickets being sold then, according to Orange officials.

Both teams are headed to the CIF playoffs in their respective divisions, but Orange is trying to dethrone Santa Ana as the league champion and get in position for a long playoff run.

“If anybody is going to win a title in this league, you have to go through Santa Ana,” said Orange Coach Robert Pedroza.”They’re the league champs, they play hard, they’re coached well. It’s a huge test for us and we’re excited for it, it’s a big stage and it’s for a league title.

“They took it to us last year and it’s going to be a fun and exciting game and we’re excited for it. “

The returning players from Orange definitely have some incentive. Santa Ana won last year’s showdown 29-0 at the Santa Ana Stadium to win the title outright.

“A lot of these kids are returners from last year and they beat us bad last year,” Pedroza said. “So our job is to get them prepared this week for a hard-fought football game.”

Orange is led by junior quarterback Daylen Pedroza (no relation to the head coach) who has passed for 1,973 yards and 23 touchdowns and rushed for 761 yards and five touchdowns.

Senior Isacc Galvan has rushed for 1,295 yards and 15 touchdowns and hauled in 22 catches for 472 yards and five touchdowns for the Panthers.

Orange’s leading receiver is senior Andrew Andrade, who has 31 catches for 721 yards and five touchdowns. Junior Isac Adetoye has 17 catches for 377 yards and eight touchowns for Orange.

Santa Ana Coach Charlie TeGantvoort said his squad is prepared for the challenge.

“We have had a great week of practice,” he said Thursday. “Keys to the Saints winning is just playing as tough and hard as possible the right way all game long from start to finish.  

“Orange is very athletic and we must be physical with them to slow them down.  Everyone is healthy and ready.”

Santa Ana is led by quarterback Aldo Leyva, running backs Jason Costa and Miguel Vaca and receiver Isaac Larriva.

The two teams are in separate CIF playoff divisions so won’t meet each other in the playoffs. Santa Ana is in Division 8 and Orange in Division 10.

Orange won the CIF Division 13 title in 2017, defeating Silver Valley 30-20. The Panthers are hoping for a big run this year in a competitive division.

“Last year, I don’t think we finished the year very strong,” Coach Pedroza said. “That’s our job as coaches and a team to get going and practice hard going into the playoffs. We’re hoping for a good run.”

OC Sports Zone will have full coverage with lots of photos and a game story and updates throughout the evening.

RELATED: Quick facts, comparative scores on the big game

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone;