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Katella's First-Half Mistakes Help Orange to 19-7 Victory


Orange took advantage of one of three first-half turnovers by Katella, then held off the Knights in the second half to hand them their first loss of the season, 19-7, Thursday night at El Modena High.

"In the first half we took advantage of a short field," Orange Coach Dick Hill said. "That's a good football team and we're feeling good about beating them."

Katella (2-1) turned the ball over on three of its first four possessions. Orange (1-2) couldn't take advantage of the first two but Chance Perry's interception and return gave the Panthers the ball at the Katella 29 midway through the second quarter.

Six plays later, sophomore quarterback Zach Bell faked a handoff and delivered a pass over the middle to tight end Evan Gramley for a nine-yard touchdown.

Katella gave the ball back after three plays and the Panthers put together two big plays to put the ball inside the Knights 10-yard line.

Perry's 17-yard run brought the Panthers into Katella territory, and Derald Deason followed with a 30-yard gain off a reverse, peeling away defenders before finally being stopped at the eight.

On the next play, fullback Mike Hall pounded his way around the left side for a 13-0 lead with 1:34 remaining in the first half.

A roughing-the-kicker penalty on the first play of the fourth quarter gave Katella some life after getting nowhere during the third quarter.

The Knights took over the Panther's 39 and seven plays later quarterback Stevie Gomez ran in from six yards for a 13-7 lead with 8:22 remaining.

Katella got the ball back two minutes later after stopping Orange on three plays, but Gomez couldn't handle the snap from center on fourth and one and Orange took over on downs.

Four plays later, 230-pound fullback Joaquin Soto rambled 31 yards for a touchdown and a 19-7 lead.

Francis Johnson, who came into the game averaging 18.1 yards per carry for Katella, rushed for 111 yards in 23 carries.

"Katella's done everything to make itself a competitive team," Hill said. "This victory is not shallow, and we needed it very bad."

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