June 15, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

What’s ahead for Orange Coast League football teams battling for CIF playoffs, league title

(Photo: Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone).

St. Margaret’s 28-22 upset road victory over Orange in an Orange Coast League football game Friday night created a logjam for the first four spots in the league with four weeks left in the regular season.

It was the biggest win of the year for the Tartans, coached by former Corona del Mar Coach Dan O’Shea. The Tartans were led offensively by quarterback Max Ruff and all-purpose back Matt Arena and defensively by linebacker Battle Gideons.

Santa Ana (4-2) and Calvary Chapel (4-2) who meet Friday night at Segerstrom in a Calvary Chapel home game, are tied for first place with 2-0 league marks. So the winner of that game will hold onto undisputed possession of first place.

With a victory, Santa Ana would take a big step toward playing for the league title on the final week of the season.

St. Margaret’s and Orange are tied for second place with 1-1 records.

Three teams from the league earn the automatic CIF playoff qualifying berths but at-large berths are also possible.

Estancia (3-2, 0-1) and Costa Mesa (1-4, 0-1) and Saddleback (0-5, 0-2) round out the league standings.

The league title typically is decided on the final week of the regular season when Orange and Santa Ana play. This year’s game is Friday, Oct. 27 at Fred Kelly Stadium.

Orange won last year’s game 35-0 to capture its second straight league title. Santa Ana’s last league title was 2020 during the spring season when the season schedule was adjusted due to the pandemic.

This year, Santa Ana has been led by its outstanding running back Charles Hughes, who had a career high five touchdowns in a victory over St. Margaret’s. Quarterback Sergio Torres has also been steady for the Saints.

Calvary Chapel has shutouts over Costa Mesa and Saddleback in its first two league games. The Eagles are led by quarterback Matt Peters, who threw three touchdown passes in the victory over Saddleback.

A look ahead:

SANTA ANA: Friday, Sept. 29 vs. Calvary Chapel at Segerstrom; Thursday, Oct. 5, home vs. Costa Mesa; Friday, Oct. 13, home vs. Saddleback; Friday, Oct. 27, vs. Orange at El Modena (Santa Ana has a bye week before its last game).

CALVARY CHAPEL: Friday, Sept. 29, home vs. Santa Ana at Segerstrom; Thursday, Oct. 5, home vs. Orange at Segerstrom; Friday, Oct. 20, at Estancia; Friday, Oct. 27, at St. Margaret’s. (Calvary Chapel has a bye in the second week of October).

ST. MARGARET’S: Friday, Sept. 29, home vs. Estancia; Friday, Oct. 13, home vs. Costa Mesa; Friday, Oct. 20, at Saddleback; Friday, Oct. 27, home vs. Calvary Chapel (St. Margaret’s has a bye in the second week of October).

ORANGE: Thursday, Oct. 5, vs. Calvary Chapel at Segerstrom; Saturday, Oct. 14, home vs. Estancia; Friday, Oct. 20 at Costa Mesa; Friday, Oct. 27, home vs. Santa Ana. (Orange has a bye this week).

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—-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com