Richard Lindner, Santa Ana Valley High School football coach, insists that the Falcons' days as a perennial loser are drawing to a close.
And judging from Friday night's 10-0 Century League loss to Foothill in Santa Ana Stadium, Lindner may be right. Though the defeat extended the Falcons' losing streak to 17 games, Santa Ana Valley's program made great strides towards a return to respectability.
The Falcons held Orange County's seventh-ranked team to three points and 125 yards in the first 35 minutes of the game many expected to be a breeze for Foothill (4-0, 5-2).
"We said we could do it. We've said that the whole year," Lindner said. "We should have won this game."
The Knights grabbed a 3-0 lead after taking the opening kickoff and driving 60 yards in 11 plays to the Falcon 5. On third-and-5, running back John Fischbeck was thrown for a two-yard loss, and Foothill had to settle for a 24-yard field goal by Chad Smolanovich with 2:10 left in the quarter.