May 17, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PHOTOS: Santa Ana advances in Division 6 with victory over Mayfair

Santa Ana running back Jason Costa stiff arms Mayfair’s Joseph Aguilar on his way to a long gain that set up the Saints first TD. Photos: Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone

Before Friday night’s CIF Division 6 Round 1 playoff game between Santa Ana and Mayfair at Santa Ana Stadium, Saints’ coach Charlie TeGantvoort said the game would be “cool and exciting.”

TeGantvoort’s prediction was spot on.

Sergio Torres threw three touchdown passes, scored a TD and Jason Costa rushed for 267 yards and scored two touchdowns to lead Santa Ana (8-2) to a 42-33 victory over previously undefeated and Suburban League champion Mayfair (9-1). 

The Saints advance to the quarterfinals and will play Dominguez Friday night.

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

“We had each other’s back and we played as a team,” said Costa, who had 35 carries. Costa was also quick to credit his offensive lineman (Adrian Bahena, Alexis Salemeron, Jose Martinez, Nathan Lopez-Duarte and Anthony Valerio for his success.

“We made some mistakes but we stayed focused, and we’ll correct those mistakes to get ready for next week,” said Bahena, an offensive tackle.

Torres said the team is focused.

“We stayed to our plan and we executed,” said Torres, who completed 10 passes for 215 yards and three TDs. “We never slowed down, we just kept going.”

Mayfair didn’t waste any time getting on the board in the first quarter. After recovering a Santa Ana onside kick to start the game, the Monsoons marched 50 yards in four plays for a touchdown, capped by a 9-yard TD pass from quarterback Evan Tomich to running back Nick Adimora.

However, Mayfair missed the PAT and led 6-0.  

The Saints immediately responded on its first possession on the strength of the legs of Costa who rushed for 80 yards on three carries to set up a short TD run by Raul Alvarez giving Santa Ana a 7-6 lead.

Torres upped Santa Ana’s lead to 14-6 after completing a short pass to Raymond Casillas who used his excellent speed to outrun the Mayfair defense for a 34-yard touchdown pass play. Casillas had a huge game as he caught five passes for 171 yards and two TDs. His speed was disruptive or the Monsoons defense throughout the game.

On the first play of the second quarter, Torres tossed a 10-yard TD pass to Costa as the Saints increased their lead to 21-6.

But Mayfair battled back and long touchdowns runs by Tomich (on a fourth-down play) and Adimora in a span of 1:24 cut the lead to 21-20 with 8:24 left in the half.

Casillas hauled in a pass from Torres and raced 76 yards late in the quarter to propel the Saints to 28-20 halftime lead.

After a wild first half that saw both teams combined for over 500 yards of offense, the Monsoons drove 65 yards in nine plays on its first possession of the second half to cut the lead to 28-27, following a 3-yard touchdown run by Tomich.

But the Saints countered and marched 92 yards in eight plays for a score. Costa finished the drive with a 10-yard TD run to give Santa Ana a 35-27 lead at the 3:28 mark of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Santa Ana’s defense twice foiled Monsoons comeback hopes. The Saints forced an incomplete pass in the end zone on a fourth-down play on one series and then squashed a Monsoons fake punt attempt. 

Torres countered by guiding the Saints to another touchdown – that he scored on a 6-yard run – with under four minutes to play to seal the victory.

“This was a complete team victory,” said TeGantvoort. “Our seniors really stepped it up, especially the linebackers, offensive lineman and the special teams. The seniors don’t want to turn their stuff back in yet.”    

Torres now has thrown 27 TD passes this season while compiling 1637 yards. Costa eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark for the season and has rushed for 1,090 yards and scored eight rushing TDs.

Adimora and Tomich combined to rush for 267 yards and scored four touchdowns to lead Mayfair.

Santa Ana will play away at Dominguez (9-2). The Dons defeated Yucaipa 55-22, and will host the game based on the predetermined coin flip.

—Tom Connolly, For OC Sports Zone