As Nate Primous, Saddleback High School running back, cruised his way toward an 80-yard touchdown on the Roadrunners' opening play from scrimmage, Saddleback fans nudged each other in the bleachers of Santa Ana Stadium.
Another Friday night, another Saddleback blowout.
The Roadrunners came into Friday night's Sea View League game against Newport Harbor with an average margin of victory of more than 30-points a game. After Primous' run, it appeared Newport Harbor would have to play the game of its season just to meet that average.
But then something went screwy. It took Primous 20 additional carries to gain another 80 yards. The Saddleaback offense didn't score another touchdown. The Roadrunners didn't complete a pass until the last play of the third quarter. Then there were the two interceptions, the lost fumble and the 85 yards in penalties.
Put it all together and it spells a 17-0 not-so-spectacular win for Saddleback (3-0, 8-0).
"We had a problem with consistency tonight," said Saddleback Coach Jerry Witte. "We'd do a couple things good, and then we'd have a miscue to mess it up. We just didn't execute well tonight."
Not that the Roadrunners winning streak, now spanning 17 games over two seasons, was ever in danger. Newport Harbor (1-2, 4-4) never had a chance in this one.
The Sailors gained only 77 yards in total offense in the first half, and never crossed midfield in the second half.
Newport Harbor's starting quarterback, Kirk Summers, was intercepted four times in the first half, with Saddleback's Frank Larriva and Danny Ontiveros getting two each.
Ontiveros' interceptions were especially important. The first he returned 29 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter. Later, when Newport Harbor had driven to the Saddleback 12-yard line, Ontiveros intercepted a pass intended for receiver Mark Craig at the goal line.
Summers was replaced in the second half by Vince Brejfus who had just as little luck. Brejfus completed 3 passes for 0 yards.
"We might not have scored a lot of points, but the only thing I know from looking at the scoreboard is that we shut them out," Witte said. "We did what we had to do."
Saddleback quarterback Neil Carter, filling in for Sean Therein who broke his collarbone last week, missed on his first nine passes before completing a 35-yard pass to Ontiveros. Carter ended the game with 2 completions for 52 yards.
Primous ended the game with 21 carries for 163 yards.
Newport Harbor receiver Mark Craig caught 4 passes for 38 yards and intercepted a ball on defense.
University 20, Corona Del Mar 14--Senior Craig Belle scored 1 touchdown while rushing for 125 yards in 13 carries to lead the Trojans to victory over Corona del Mar at Irvine Stadium.
University (2-1, 5-3) scored the go-ahead touchdown when kicker Jeff Berger faked a field goal and passed to Robert Riley for an eight-yard score with 1:14 left in the third quarter.
The Sea Kings (0-3, 2-6) tied the game, 14-14, on a four-yard touchdown run by Jim Kneist with 5:16 left in the third quarter.
University scored first when David Liebke scored on a 33-yard run with 18 seconds left in the first quarter.
Corona del Mar tied the score when Mitch Melbon, playing for the injured Kurt Ehmann, connected with Gary Blower on a 51-yard pass with 10:29 remaining in the second quarter.
University quarterback Jeff Bailey connected with Belle on a 41-yard touchdown pass to gain 14-7 halftime lead.
Tustin 35, Estancia 6--The Tillers assured themselves of a playoff spot for the first time in 32 years after running past Estancia at Davidson Field.
Lonnie Machado ran for 90 yards and 3 touchdowns as Tustin (3-0, 7-1) won its sixth straight game.
"We stumbled around for a while," Tustin Coach Marijon Ancich said. "Things don't always work the way it's supposed to, but a win is a win."
Tustin, which held a 14-0 halftime lead, put the game out of reach after scoring on its first three possessions in the second half. Estancia's (0-3, 0-8) only score came late in the game on Scott Boren's 15-yard touchdown catch from Todd Brooks.