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High Schools | DAILY REPORT

Orange Lutheran Gets Big-Time Win Against Mater Dei

September 14, 2003|Dan Arritt;John Ortega;Martin Henderson | From Staff Reports

After years of cruising through the obscure back alleys of the Southern Section small-school divisions, the Orange Lutheran football team could finally say it arrived on Main Street Saturday night.

The moment was etched with a 35-14 victory over Santa Ana Mater Dei in a nonleague game played in front of approximately 7,500 on the visiting Monarchs' home turf at Santa Ana Stadium.

"It shows we have turned the corner," said wide receiver/defensive back Brendan Circle, who caught four passes for 93 yards and a touchdown. "We were ready to go."

Orange Lutheran officials decided to move the game from the Lancers' regular home field at Brea Olinda High to Santa Ana Stadium because of the larger seating capacity.

While playing in the small-school divisions, Orange Lutheran often came close but never won a section championship. The Lancers lost in consecutive Division X title games in 1994 and '95, and fell again in the Division XI final in 2001.

The Lancers moved up to Division VI last season and upgraded their schedule with the addition of Mater Dei, winner of five Division I titles since 1991. A one-point loss to the Monarchs in their first meeting last September only fueled the Lancers' motivation to win Saturday night.

Big plays marked the first half as the Lancers scored both first-half touchdowns on long passes from quarterback Seth Blackamore. The first covered 49 yards to Circle on Lutheran's first possession. The second deep pass went 73 yards to Anthony Vernaglia and gave the Lancers a 14-7 lead midway through the second quarter.

A personal foul on the opening kickoff of the second half gave Orange Lutheran good field position near midfield. On third and 11, Circle made an acrobatic catch in double coverage along the sideline, moving the ball 27 yards to the Mater Dei 16.

Two plays later, John Ausmus scored on a 10-yard run for a 21-7 lead.

Alex Mason scored on a one-yard run late in the fourth quarter and then returned a fumble 30 yards to give the Lancers a 35-7 lead.

Dan Arritt

*

Sophomores Patrick Milloy and Michael Munoz paced Murrieta Valley in an upset victory over Chino Don Lugo in the Bronco Invitational cross-country meet Saturday at Prado Park in Chino.

Don Lugo entered the season-opening meet as the top-ranked Division I boys' team in the state, but No. 4 Murrieta Valley defeated the Conquistadores, 37-45. Brea Olinda was third with 176 points.

Junior Fitsum Tesfa of Don Lugo won the 5,000-meter race in 15 minutes, 13 seconds to crush the previous course record of 15:35 set last year by Don Lugo's Erick Maldonando.

But Milloy placed fourth in 15:28, Munoz was fifth in 15:32, and Murrieta Valley placed five runners among the top 11.

"That's certainly not the strongest you're going to see Don Lugo, but that's not the strongest they'll see us too," Murrieta Valley Coach Steve Chavez said. "[The victory is] not everything for us, but we did fill in a lot of question marks today."

Murrieta Valley swept the team and individual titles in the girls' meet as senior Liza Pasciuto cut 16 seconds off her own course record with a 17:41 that led the defending Division I state-champion Nighthawks to a 29-122 victory over second-place Santa Margarita.

Freshman Liana Boucher placed third in 18:18 for No. 4-ranked Murrieta Valley, which had five of the top 10 finishers.

John Ortega

*

Jeff Jordan, who coached Westminster La Quinta last season, will be the new softball coach at Santa Ana Foothill, pending school board approval later this month.

Before coaching La Quinta to a 4-15 record last season, Jordan was an assistant at Garden Grove Pacifica. At Foothill, he takes over a program that posted a 355-79 record in 14 seasons under Joe Gonzalez.

Martin Henderson

*

La Puente Bishop Amat, which lost its football season opener, 17-7, to Vista on Sept. 5, has been awarded a victory after Vista reported it used an ineligible player during the game.

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