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Sloppy Servite Slams Saddleback


FULLERTON — Saddleback Coach Jerry Witte knew what it would take to beat second-ranked Servite.

"We have to play a near perfect game to have a chance," he said.

There was little of that on either side of the ball Saturday night, but early scoring was enough to give Servite a 34-7 victory over Saddleback Saturday night at Cal State Fullerton.

The Friars (7-1, 3-0) fumbled three times, amassed 169 yards in penalties and had a player removed from the field by referees for unsportsmanlike conduct. Saddleback (6-2, 2-1), which had only 32 net yards on the ground, was penalized six times for 69 yards and got its lone score against the Servite scrub team with 2 minutes 51 seconds left to play.

And if that wasn't enough, the post-game handshake between Witte and Servite Coach Larry Toner turned into an ugly affair when the two broke into an argument over an undisclosed reason. Both had to be coaxed to their respective sidelines.

Toner was at a loss for words to describe his team's poor showing, but quarterback Greg Cicero, who started slow, but surged in the second half to finish with 303 yards and two touchdowns passing, felt that many of the Friars didn't take Saddleback seriously enough.

"They're a good football team and some of our players didn't prepare for this one. They took it for granted we would win," he said.

Toner accepted responsibility for his team's lack of control. "I'm in charge of penalties and I am a poor teacher," he said.

Servite, which used the same no-huddle offense that it unveiled to perfection last week in a 50-40 victory over Tustin, appeared as if it was bored after those three scores in a row. Its fourth drive of the first half was stalled by clipping, holding and delay of game penalties. It wasn't until Cicero passed 63 yards to Stephen Ward for a score with 8 minutes 33 seconds left to play that the Friars appeared to return to reality.

In the first half, Danny Rubalcava capped a seven-play, 72-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run with 5 minutes 50 seconds left in the first quarter.

It was Rubalcava again when Servite got the ball back, this time bouncing off-tackle six yards with 11 minutes 6 seconds left in the second quarter. The run capped a nine-play, 74-yard drive highlighted by 22 yards on the ground from Vince Reed and two Cicero passes good for 34 yards.

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