It's not the biggest team in Orange County or the most talented but Estancia High School is one of only five schools in the county with a perfect record following a 16-0 victory over University Saturday night at Irvine High.
Estancia (7-0, 2-0) kept pace with unbeaten El Toro, Capistrano Valley, Sunny Hills and Whittier Christian by recording its fifth shutout of the season. More important, Estancia is the only undefeated team in the Sea View League; four teams trailing by a game at 1-1.
What's more, Estancia's seven-game, season-opening streak is a first in the school's 25-year history.
Estancia combined a strong defense with a solid running game to hold off University and its wing-T offense.
Estancia totaled 212 yards rushing. Tailback Josh Wojtkiewicz gaining 86 yards in 16 carries before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a neck injury that didn't appear to be serious.
Estancia's defense, led by linebackers Jeremie Chapin and Dan Petrone and tackles Luis Alvarado and Len Herman, limited University to 11 yards rushing. The Eagles have allowed only 35 yards rushing in two league games.
"It's wonderful to be 7-0," said John Liebengood, Estancia's coach. "It's been a long time since we've been in this position. I hope we can continue."
For the record, Estancia's previous best start was in 1981 when the Eagles were 7-0-1. Liebengood's view of history may be inaccurate, but nobody's arguing with his team's success. Estancia has allowed only 10 points in seven games.
Estancia scored the only touchdown it needed early in the second quarter when Wojtkiewicz ran two yards to culminate a 48-yard drive. Quarterback Danny Ucker was at his best in the drive, completing three consecutive passes for a total of 40 yards. Ucker finished with 135 yards passing.
"That's a very good high school football team," University Coach Mark Cunningham said. "We had our chances, especially in the third quarter when we had a first down at their eight-yard line and couldn't score."
Estancia ended University's only serious scoring threat with 33 seconds remaining in the third quarter when it stopped opposing quarterback Brian Vail on a quarterback sneak at the one-yard line--twice.
University (2-5, 0-2) recovered two fumbles and intercepted a pass, but the Trojans failed to sustain a drive with its ground game halted. Vail completed nine of 15 pass attempts for 87 yards, including a 37-yard screen pass to running back Jerry Alpana for University's biggest gain of the night.
In an Olympic League football game:
Whittier Christian 26, Orange Lutheran 7--Whittier Christian turned three Orange Lutheran turnovers into touchdowns and overcame a 7-6 halftime deficit.
Ron Papazian scored two touchdowns in the third quarter and Scott Jordan had 116 yards rushing to lead Whittier Christian (7-0, 3-0) offensively. Dave Whitby intercepted three passes and two of those led to Whittier Christian touchdowns.
Greg Pargee scored on a 34-yard pass from Phil Matheson for Orange Lutheran (2-5, 0-3).