The frustration continued Friday night for the struggling Santa Ana Valley High School football team. The Falcons, non-winners last season, lost for the third straight time this season, this time to Loyola, 37-0 in Santa Ana Stadium in front of 300 spectators.
Coach Richard Lindner could only stand on the sidelines and wonder when things were going to turn around for a team he only became the coach of a little more than a month ago.
Loyola’s mastery was so complete that it only allowed the Falcons past the 50-yard line twice. Santa Ana Valley had only 26 yards passing, none in the second half, to go along with 74 yards rushing. The Falcons had only four first downs.
The Cubs, 2-1, advanced the ball almost at will, only throwing when they had to, unlike the Falcons who were forced into a passing situation early when they fell behind 17-0 midway in the second quarter. Santa Ana Valley punted the ball after its opening drive stalled on the Cub 47. Loyola then scored on a 9-play, 75-yard drive. Mark Estwick scored from the one.
Estwick gained 32 of his game high 95 yards on that drive. He ran the ball 21 times and also caught a 40-yard pass.
Loyola had 303 yards rushing. Besides O’Neil’s 33 yards, fullback John Winnek had 56 yards and Estwick’s second half replacement, James Roughan, had 71.
The reason for all the running, according to Loyola Coach Steve Grady, was a lack of a consistant passing game this season. “We did plan to run that much . . . but our passing game has not been all that good.” O’Neil was only 5 of 13, for 83 yards and an interception.
Both teams had trouble holding on to the ball. In four plays near the end of the first half, the ball changed hands four times inside the Santa Ana Valley 10 before O’Neil scored from the one.
The Falcons lost the ball four times, three times in the first half. Even Loyola was not particularly careful with the ball. Two fumbles, an interception and 85 yards in penalties prevented the Cubs from having an even easier time then it did. The only Falcon who managed any offense was quarterback James Shipp. Although he did not complete a pass in the second half, he did rush for 55 yards. Many of those yards came after he was chased out of the pocket trying to pass.