Bolsa Grande High School capitalized on three Savanna turnovers to score touchdowns and piled up 337 yards rushing en route to a 34-8 victory over the Rebels Thursday night in Anaheim's Glover Stadium.
A crowd of only 900 turned out to watch two undefeated teams who are on the rebound. Bolsa Grande (3-0) shook off 10 losing seasons to reach the playoffs last year and the Matadors look like an easy bet to reach the postseason tournament again this season.
Savanna (2-1) was going for its third straight victory against a Garden Grove League opponent after defeating Garden Grove and Rancho Alamitos. First-year Coach Dana Coleman is hoping to turn around a program that has gone 1-19 the past two years, but the Rebels aren't going to win too many games with the mistakes they made against Bolsa Grande.
Bolsa Grande was the recipient of three gift touchdowns thanks to Savanna mistakes. Rebel running back Stacy Strozier got Savanna off to a poor start when he fumbled at his 23-yard line and Matador defensive end Rob Grimsley recovered.
Tailback Ricky Lepule scored his first of three touchdowns on a five-yard run and the Matadors went on to score in every quarter. Savanna deserved an assist for two of the touchdowns.
The Rebels turned the ball over on their two-yard line on a bad snap from center and quarterback Tony Osendorf threw an interception to set up another score.
Bolsa Grande really didn't need the assistance. Lepule gained 170 yards rushing in 17 carries and teammate Travin Lui added 123 yards rushing in 13 carries. It all added to another impressive performance for the Matadors, but Bolsa Grande Coach Greg Shadid credited his defense for the victory.
"Our defense played another stellar game," he said. "We shut down their running game and contained their passing attack. That was the key for us."
Osendorf completed only 14 of 37 pass attempts for 151 yards, but he was instrumental in the Rebels' only score when he drove them 74 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. Osendorf connected with tight end Tom Kearney on a 14-yard pass play for the score and then rushed for a two-point conversion to account for all of Savanna's scoring.
Bolsa Grande had a 14-0 lead at halftime despite some poor pitchouts by quarterback Damon Fisher to his running backs. The Matadors were content to stay on the ground in the second half as Fisher attempted only three passes after halftime.
"We quit throwing because we thought we could run the ball," Shadid said. "We made a couple of big plays to put the game away. We're certainly not where we want to be, but we're getting better every week.
"We play a good Artesia team next week, and then we'll find out just how good we are when we play Valencia in two weeks."