The last time David Gutierrez coached against Santiago High was three years ago.
He served as the defensive coordinator for Santa Ana. Gutierrez and the Saints shut out the Cavaliers 49-0 back then.
He’s no longer at Santa Ana. And in his first year as Costa Mesa’s head coach, Gutierrez found it hard to stop Santiago.
Santiago ruined the Mustangs’ home opener, beating them 35-3 in a nonleague football game on Friday.
The Cavaliers ran for 398 yards and five touchdowns. They never attempted a pass. The formula worked in their season opener.
“We’ve been preaching physicality since spring football and we made a switch to a different offense, [and with it] comes … a different mentality,” Cavaliers coach Brandon Croft said. “We have a strong group of seniors that led and made sure the younger guys can follow.”
Costa Mesa had a hard time against David Ramirez and Derrick Martin. Ramirez rushed 11 times for 121 yards and a touchdown, and Martin had 17 carries for 93 yards and two touchdowns.
Ramirez’s score came on a 67-yard run in the first quarter, and Anthony Mendez had a 52-yard touchdown run in the third.
The Mustangs start 0-2 for the second time in three years.
“I think we had a lot of penalties,” Gutierrez said. “We need to work on that this upcoming week, but we’ll get conditioned and be ready for next week.”
The Mustangs looked prepared against Santiago, taking the lead on Wally Olmeda’s 47-yard field goal midway through the first quarter.
They were blanked the rest of the way.
Despite the loss, Gutierrez said he was proud of how his team battled and never gave up. Justin Figueroa had seven catches for 64 yards.
“The scoreboard is the scoreboard, we can’t control that,” Gutierrez said, “but we’re going to continue to battle every single play.”
Costa Mesa hopes to give Gutierrez his first win on Thursday. The Mustangs play Loara at Glover Stadium in Anaheim.
Just like the Mustangs, the Saxons will be in search of their first win. Loara lost its opener at Estancia on Friday.
Santiago 35, Costa Mesa 3
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Santiago 6 – 8 – 14 – 7 — 35
Costa Mesa 3 – 0 – 0 – 0 — 3
CM – Olmeda 47 FG, 6:45.
S – Ramirez 67 run, (kick failed), 3:13.
S – Reyes 34 run, (Mendez run), 3:52.
S – Mendez 52 run, (Martinez kick), 7:17.
S – Martin 2 run, (Martinez kick), 2:43.
S – Martin 2 run, (Martinez kick), 11:30.
S – Ramirez, 11-121, 1 TD.
CM – Hernandez, 12-34.
S – Monroy, 0-0-0, 0.
CM – Juncker, 5-13-1, 47.
S – None.