A strong running game and stout defensive performance in the first half led to the Estancia High football team’s 48-27 victory Thursday night against Saddleback in an Orange Coast League game at Segerstrom High.
The win marks the first for the Eagles after starting the season 0-5.
Estancia got a big night from junior running back Trevor Pacheco, who tallied 198 yards on 19 carries and scored four total touchdowns. He also had 65 receiving yards to round up his stat line.
“He deserved it,” said Estancia coach Mike Bargas on Pacheco’s performance. “He has been running into some road blocks and I think our offensive line finally put it together. He is always running hard and I think tonight we were the bigger and faster team.”
The Eagle defense caused three Saddleback turnovers that turned into points in its favor — picking off Roadrunner quarterback Jonathan De Leon twice and forcing him to fumble the ball on a handoff.
“We made a lot of great plays [defensively] that put us in good position on offense and we were able to some points up because of that,” Bargas said. “We knew we had a good defense but it had just taken us five weeks to wake up, but I think our defense has always kept us in games.”
Estancia sophomore quarterback Jaycen Cash — who passed for 153 yards and four touchdowns — connected with junior wide receiver Hayden Pearce twice in the first half for two touchdowns.
Saddleback was limited to just one score in the first half and the Eagles took a 34-7 lead into the intermission.
Pacheco broke free for big plays in the third quarter — first with a 39-yard rushing touchdown and second with a 57-yard receiving touchdown off a swift slant play to put the lead out of reach for Saddleback (1-4).
The Roadrunners were able to score 14 unanswered in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough and the Eagles cruised to a 1-0 start in league play.
Estancia 48, Saddleback 27
Estancia……..14 20 14 0 — 48
Saddleback…..0 7 7 13 — 27
Estancia – Cash 8 YD pass to Pacheco (Martinez kick), 8:19.
Estancia – De Leon INT 52 YD return (Martinez kick), 0:59.
Saddleback – De Leon 20 YD pass to Roa (Aguilar kick), 9:51.
Estancia – Cash 20 YD pass to Pearce (Martinez kick), 7:36.
Estancia – Cash 22 YD pass to Pearce (Failed PAT), 4:26.
Estancia – Pacheco 14 YD run (Martinez kick), 2:08.
Estancia – Pacheco 39 YD run (Martinez kick), 10:13.
Saddleback – De Leon 21 YD pass to Ahmath (Aguilar kick), 3:56.
Estancia – Cash 57 YD pass to Pacheco (Martinez kick), 2:35.
Saddleback – De Leon 10 YD pass to Roa (Aguilar kick), 7:09.
Saddleback – De Leon 14 YD pass to Roa (PAT missed), 0:06.
Estancia – Pacheco, 19-198, 2 TD.
Saddleback – Recendez, 19-94.
Estancia – Cash, 8-13, 153, 4 TDs.
Saddleback – De Leon, 10-18, 132, 4 TDs, 2 INTs.
Estancia – Pacheco, 2-65, 2 TD.
Saddleback – Roa, 4-47, 3 TDs.
JUAN CARLOS GONZALEZ is a contributor to Times Community News: Follow him on Twitter: @JGonzalezSports