Daniel Dixon rushed for 224 yards and three touchdowns to lead Orange El Modena to a 24-0 upset of top-seeded Orange Lutheran in a Southern Section Division VI quarterfinal Friday at El Modena.
Dixon's first two touchdowns came on sweeps around the left side. The first was good for 79 yards and a 10-0 lead with 7:23 left in the third quarter.
Dixon scored again, from 39 yards, with 8:27 left to play to put the Vanguards ahead, 17-0. His final score was a two-yard dive up the middle with 1:37 left.
Dixon has rushed for 2,396 yards and scored 35 touchdowns this season for El Modena (9-3), which finished tied for first in the Century League and has won six in a row.
The Vanguards will meet former league rival Santa Ana Foothill in a semifinal on Friday. In a nonleague game in Week 4, Foothill beat El Modena, 28-24.
Dixon's long runs were quite a contrast to El Modena's first-half scoring drive. The Vanguards took 25 plays and 13 minutes 58 seconds to go 91 yards, culminated with a 27-yard field goal by Steven Sanada.
Dominic Robinson had two interceptions for El Modena, which held Orange Lutheran, ranked No. 23 by The Times, to 110 yards passing and 68 yards rushing.
The loss ended a winning streak at nine for the Lancers (9-3), who moved up from Division XI this season.
Santa Ana Foothill 35, La Mirada 21 -- Twice Mike Liti walked off the field with a shoulder injury, but he kept coming back and kept driving that shoulder right into the La Mirada defense.
Liti scored three touchdowns for the third-seeded Knights in a quarterfinal victory at La Mirada.
Liti rushed 22 times for 182 yards and scored on runs of 70, 59 and 27 yards. His performance helped lift Foothill (10-2) to its first semifinal since 1992.
"In the second half, when Liti broke his second long one, that was the first nail in the coffin," said Foothill Coach Doug Case, who watched Liti break four tackles en route to giving the Knights a 23-14 lead with 3:40 left in the third quarter.
La Mirada (8-3), trying to reach the semifinals for the 11th time in 21 consecutive seasons in the playoffs, still had a chance before a critical fourth-quarter breakdown.
Trailing, 23-21, with first down at its own 13, the ball was snapped into the end zone out of shotgun formation, and Foothill's David Goto recovered for a 30-21 margin.