May 30, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

SAC football team evens record with 40-3 win over LA Harbor

Arthur Shaw (left) and Marcus White helped SAC defeat LA Harbor for the team’s third straight win. Shaw scored two touchdowns and White nearly scored on a punt return. (Photos courtesy Tom Connolly, For OC Sportsa Zone).

The Santa Ana College football team is on a roll.

After dropping their first three games of the season, the Dons have stormed back to win three in a row and they are piling up points in the process.

On Saturday afternoon, quarterback Ceasar Ayala threw for 292 yards and tossed three touchdowns, Gary Ferman rushed for 108 yards and the Dons defense forced five turnovers as visiting SAC soundly defeated Los Angeles Harbor College 40-3 in its Metro League opener. Ayala has thrown 14 touchdowns this season.

“We’re playing like we have each other’s back,” Ayala said. “Nobody’s getting lazy and my job is to get the ball to guys like Shim (Tyler Shimomura) and Shaw (Arthur Shaw), who are great athletes and let them go.”

Ayala completed 11 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns to Shaw and Shim.  

Dons’ head coach Anthony White was upbeat following the win for his team (3-3, 1-0).

“Those three losses don’t mean anything now, we’re 1-0 in conference and moving forward,” said White.

Ayala threw two first quarter TD passes to Shaw – 41 and 18 yards – and the speedster outran the LAH defenders to give the Dons an early 14-0 lead at the 4:40 mark of the first quarter.

Following a Seahawks punt, running back Gary Ferman blasted up the middle for a 72-yard run but had the ball stripped from his hands, from behind by a LAH defender, just before he crossed the goal line. A Seahawks player recovered it in the end zone for a touchback foiling a potential Dons touchdown.  

“We’re playing hard and playing better as a team and communicating more effectively,” Shaw added.

Ferman rebounded on the Dons first possession of the second quarter as he scored on a one-yard run to up SAC’s lead to 20-0.

Buddy Sagiao, Timothy Gomez, Sebastian Jimenez and Matt Wann, led an aggressive SAC defense that applied heavy pressure on Seahawks’ quarterbacks, forcing five turnovers and two missed short Seahawks field goal attempts. The Dons led 20-3 at halftime.

“We’re playing more as a cohesive unit right now, instead of individually and that’s making the difference,” said Gomez.   

In the third quarter, SAC’s defense put the game out of reach as Daylen Fuller scooped up a fumble and raced 17 yards for a touchdown. Moments later, Nate Ulloa returned a pick six 40 yards for a touchdown as the Dons went up 34-3. SAC limited the Seahawks to 1 of 12 conversions on third downs.

“Our defense is stepping it up and applying pressure,” Fuller said.   

“We filling the gaps and we played tough underneath,” said Ulloa.  

John Daskalakis caught a short pass from Ayala and scored from 22 yards for the Dons final score.  

The Dons racked up 477 yards of offense and limited the Seahawks (2-4, 0-1) to 108 yards. SAC has outscored its opponents 179-9 over the past three games. Anthony Curtis and Bryce Phillips also recorded interceptions of the Dons. 

“Our defense was exceptional today and thanks to our players and staff,” said White. “We had some guys playing out of position, but they stepped up. Ceasar did a great job and he needs to keep getting the ball to play makers like Shim, Arthur and Jason (Biddle).”

—Courtesy Tom Connolly, For OC Sports Zone