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FOOTBALL

Tustin Not a Fan of Flag Football

November 21, 2000|MARTIN HENDERSON

Myron Miller is frustrated. Yes, he knows his Tustin team has a long way to go before it plays penalty-free football. But after his Tillers beat Foothill in the first round of the Southern Section Division VI playoffs Friday, Miller did the math.

"We can't be that bad," he said of the disparity in penalties between the teams. "There's no way I get 15 penalties running the ball and they get one penalty passing the ball all night.

"The only team the refs see now is Tustin."

Actually, Foothill had three penalties--all in the final 2 1/2 minutes. Tustin had 14 penalties for 117 yards.

Despite that showing, there was some vindication for the Tillers, who scored a decisive 54-22 victory.

"That made up for the first game," Miller said, referring to Tustin's 6-0 victory in Week 1. "I was embarrassed by the first game."

So was Chris Chester, Tustin's 6-foot-4 tight end and linebacker.

"The whole week I was thinking of this game," Chester said. "I wanted to show Foothill what Tustin was all about."

Chester recovered two fumbles, rushed five times for 104 yards--including a 90-yard touchdown run--and caught a 32-yard pass.

FEAR IS NOT AN OPTION

While the Santa Margarita coaching staff was apprehensive about playing Fontana Miller and its tricky offense--with good reason--Esperanza Coach Gary Meek doesn't seem especially worried about his team's second-round matchup with the Rebels.

Yes, Miller edged Santa Margarita, 27-21, in overtime Friday with a triple-option offense that piled up 249 yards on the ground. But after reviewing the game film, Meek said the Rebels, typically prone to turnovers, simply played their best against a defense that struggled to deal with the option attack.

"We couldn't really figure out what Santa Margarita was going to do on defense," Meek said. "We're not going to do what Santa Margarita did, I'll guarantee you that. We're going to do something different."

Esperanza assistant coach John Aed will simulate Miller's offense in practice this week, and he should do a pretty good job. Aed ran the option when he was San Clemente's quarterback in the early 1990s.

THIS OLD HOUSE

With apologies to legendary football coach Cap Sheue, why would Edison, a Division I program with a huge fan base, hold its first-round playoff game against Servite at rickety Sheue Field at Huntington Beach High?

The Chargers also held their final regular-season game against Esperanza, which turned out to be for the Sunset League championship, at the stadium, which has an alleged capacity of 5,000.

Edison traditionally plays its biggest games at Orange Coast College, a more modern venue with a capacity of 7,600. That's where the Chargers played then-No. 1 Mater Dei before a sellout crowd in late September.

So why the switch to Sheue Field for games against the Aztecs and Friars?

It's mostly a matter of money. Edison loses about $4,000 for every game it plays at OCC because it can't run the concession stands, Charger Coach Dave White said.

"There's not going to be 10,000 people here, plus we don't want to lose $4,000 with the budget the way it is," White said before the Esperanza game. "That buys a lot of helmets."

Edison officials brought extra bleachers from school to increase capacity for games against Esperanza and Servite, and the additional seating helped accommodate everyone in the sellout crowds.

But there's no way it could hold the expected throng Friday for Edison's second-round game against second-seeded Los Angeles Loyola. It will be held at OCC.

A REAL CATCH

Esperanza running back Temitope Sonuyi is no stranger to touchdowns. The senior scored a county-high 28 during the regular season, two more than Western's David Gober. Few of Sonuyi's touchdowns were bigger than his fourth-quarter score against Lakewood Friday--or more unusual.

Sonuyi caught his first touchdown pass of the season, a 20-yarder that provided the winning margin in a 17-10 victory. He caught only seven passes during the season, none longer than eight yards.

The play salvaged what could have been a disappointing game for the county's leading rusher. He was held to 23 yards in the first half, fumbled twice and wound up gaining 110 yards in 27 carries.

SHORT YARDAGE

Western, the top-seeded team in Division IX, will play its second-round home game against Covina on Saturday, not Friday, at 7 p.m. . . . Orange Lutheran will play its Division XI home game against Santa Paula Friday at Cal State Fullerton. . . . Calvary Chapel Athletic Director Mike Rausch said Monday afternoon he was "99% sure" the Eagles will play at Westminster High on Friday, when they host top-seeded Ventura St. Bonaventure. . . . Capistrano Valley Christian will play Aquinas at Laguna Beach High on Friday. . . . Liberty Christian's first trip to the eight-man semifinals ended with a 48-0 loss Friday to Arcadia Rio Hondo Prep, which will host New Cuyama Cuyama Valley on Friday for the title.

DOWNFIELD BLOCKING

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