Estrus Crayton rushed for 124 yards in 13 carries, scored 3 touchdowns and intercepted a pass to lead Santa Ana High School to a 29-13 Century League victory over Villa Park Saturday night at El Modena High School.
Crayton, who also had 3 receptions for 40 yards, scored twice in the first half as Santa Ana (5-3 overall, 3-0 in league play) built a 17-0 halftime lead. The Saints scored 2 third-quarter touchdowns to put the game out of reach.
The victory gave the Saints a 1-game lead over Foothill, Santa Ana Valley and El Modena--all with 2-1 league records--with 2 games remaining.
“You never feel safe with any lead against a team like Villa Park, which can pass the ball well,” Santa Ana Coach Dick Hill said. “Crayton is an excellent football player who we were able to give plenty of room to maneuver. And I was also pleased with the play of (quarterback) Jess Rojas.”
Rojas, a junior who was forced into the starting role when Dan Tuioti suffered a knee injury during Santa Ana’s victory against El Modena last week, completed 7 of 17 passes for 112 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Santa Ana took a 7-0 lead with 3 minutes left in the first quarter when Crayton caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Rosas. Crayton’s scoring catch capped a 53-yard, 6-play drive which featured runs of 13 and 12 yards by Julius Fletcher
Crayton extended the Saint lead to 14-0 with 2 minutes left in the second quarter on a 25-yard run. Crayton’s score highlighted a 63-yard, 10-play drive which saw Santa Ana rush the ball 8 times for 54 yards.
Crayton had 31 yards in 3 carries in the series to pace the Saint rushing attack.
Seconds after Crayton’s touchdown, the Saints’ Matt Franklin intercepted a Chris Johnson pass at the Spartan 35. Ten plays later, sophomore Gus Plasencia kicked a 27-yard field goal with 1 second left in the half to give Santa Ana a 17-0 lead.
Rojas threw his third touchdown pass of the night--a 54-yarder to Franklin with 5 minutes left in the third quarter--to give the Saints a 23-0 lead. Plasencia, who made 2 previous point-after kicks, failed on his third attempt when his boot sailed wide.
Three minutes after the Rojas-to-Franklin score, Crayton scored his third touchdown of the night on a 58-yard run. Crayton’s score came 4 plays after Albert Perez intercepted a Johnson pass at the Saint 37.
Villa Park (1-7, 0-3), which managed just 66 yards total offense in the first half, scored its first touchdown with 2 minutes gone in the fourth quarter on an 18-yard scoring pass from Johnson to John Priem. The score capped an 80-yard, 12-play drive.
Johnson, who finished 13 of 30 for 177 yards, completed Villa Park’s scoring with 4 minutes left in the game by throwing a 6-yard scoring pass to Matt Genova.
In the Garden Grove League:
Santiago 21, Bolsa Grande 7--Quarterback Dana Ripley threw 3 touchdown passes, covering 16, 21 and 8 yards for visiting Santiago (4-4, 2-3). Bolsa Grande is 2-6, 1-4.
In the Olympic League:
Orange Lutheran 20, Ontario Christian 7--Host Orange Lutheran rushed for 428 yards to gain its first league victory. Quarterback Jason Neben had 193 yards and 1 touchdown in 23 carries and running back Gil Greene added 181 yards in 19 carries. Neben also threw a 23-yard scoring pass to Phil Nemeth.
Chris Stevens caught a 21-yard pass from Russell Visser for Ontario Christian’s only touchdown. Ontario Christian led, 7-0, before Orange Lutheran scored 20 unanswered points. Orange Lutheran improves to 4-4 and 1-2. Ontario Christian is 6-2.
In the Arrowhead League:
Southern California Christian 51, Capistrano Valley Christian 16--Wade Bovey scored on a 10-yard run and an 80-yard fumble return to lead host Southern California Christian past Capistrano Valley Christian.