For the first time in a long time, it’s winning time for Estancia High School’s football team.
The Eagles, 2-18 over the past two seasons, won their fifth consecutive game this season, beating Orange, 14-8, Thursday night at Newport Harbor High School.
The nonleague victory was particularly important for Estancia Coach John Liebengood. It means his Eagles will go into next week’s Sea View League opener against Tustin with much--and much needed--confidence. Estancia hasn’t won a Sea View League game in two years.
“Our main goal was to beat Costa Mesa in our season opener (Estancia won, 23-13),” Liebengood said. “Hey, it carried on from there. We seem to pull (victories) out. That’s a sign of a good football team.”
Estancia’s first touchdown came on its first possession. Jeff DeSandro completed 3 consecutive passes of 13, 11 and 19 yards. Mark Hartley caught the 19-yard touchdown pass with 8:44 remaining in the first quarter.
Estancia’s ground game was led by fullback Josh Wojtkiewicz (115 yards in 21 carries) and tailback Gary Burrows (95 in 14). The Eagles played solidly throughout the second and third quarters, but didn’t score again until the fourth.
The Eagles drove 81 yards with DeSandro scoring on a 1-yard run to take a 14-0 lead with 8:32 remaining in the game. Orange’s score came less than two minutes later, on a 69-yard run down the right side by Gabino Aguilar. Panther quarterback Scott McMahon ran in for the conversion, and Orange (1-4) trailed, 14-8, with 7:04 remaining.
On its next possession, Orange drove to Estancia’s 18. But Wojtkiewicz, playing on defense for the first time this season, intercepted McMahon’s pass at the 10. The Eagles ran out the clock for the victory.