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ORANGE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PREP EXTRA | ORANGE
LEAGUE

Brea Olinda Struggles Before Routing Savanna

November 14, 1998|MICHAEL ITAGAKI | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Although the final score of host Brea Olinda's 41-0 victory over Savanna Friday indicated otherwise, the Wildcats' regular-season finale was far from a perfect tune-up for next week's Southern Section playoffs.

Brea (9-1, 5-0 in league), which was second in the Division IX poll, won the Orange League title outright with a victory. But the Wildcats sputtered early before the Rebels (7-3, 2-3) unraveled late.

Brea entered the game with 2,105 yards rushing, but Savanna's stingy defense limited the Wildcats to three yards rushing through more than 2 1/2 quarters and Brea held a 13-0 lead.

But Savanna's offense couldn't capitalize. The Rebels fumbled six times, losing four of which Brea turned into 28 points.

Brea senior running back Scott Lieng (15 carries, 82 yards) made no excuses for the Wildcats' sluggish offensive performance.

"We knew Savanna was having a tough time and we just took them lightly," Lieng said. "So they came out and really took it to us."

One of the game's pivotal plays came less than four minutes into the contest.

After Savanna's defense held, senior running back Jason Brown (71 yards rushing, 12 carries) took a pitch to the left, then cut back to the middle and sliced through Brea's defense for an apparent 80-yard touchdown run and 7-0 Savanna lead.

But officials flagged Savanna for illegal motion.

Two plays later, Brea's Mike Adler recorded the first of his two sacks, and his tackle on Savanna quarterback Robin Dano popped the ball loose and Brea's Justin Stitt recovered in the end zone for a 7-0 lead with 7 minutes 10 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Brea's defense scored another touchdown when Martin Alvarado scooped up a fumble and returned it eight yards for a touchdown with 7:05 remaining to make it, 34-0.

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