The difficult part of the Frontier League schedule is over for Santa Clara High, and quarterback Tim Gutierrez allowed himself to muse about his climb up the Southern Section career passing-yardage list.
A season-high 348-yard effort in last week's 45-35 victory over Agoura enabled Gutierrez to leapfrog from 11th to seventh on the list. Gutierrez, a 6-foot-2 senior, has 5,906 yards and should move up to fifth Friday against Calabasas.
The top four will be more difficult to reach. They are current USC quarterback Todd Marinovich (9,182 yards); former USC and Ram quarterback Pat Haden (7,633); current UCLA quarterback Bret Johnson (6,653); and current San Diego State quarterback Dan McGwire (6,559). "It feels good being up there with those names," Gutierrez said. "They are all pretty much in the news."
Successive victories over Santa Ynez and Agoura have put the Saints alone atop the league standings. Gutierrez, who is getting excellent protection from a line with only one returning starter, can chase the big names against lesser foes.
In fact, the most yards Gutierrez has passed for in a single game is 389--last year against Calabasas.