Esperanza High School was off and running from its first play Friday night against Katella.
Fullback Mark Parlin gained 70 yards on Esperanza's first play from scrimmage, setting up the Aztecs' first touchdown in a 35-6 Empire League victory over visiting Katella at Bradford Stadium.
Esperanza used a pounding running game, particularly to the left side, to wear down Katella's defense.
Tailback Lance Brown led Esperanza with 166 yards and a touchdown in 17 carries. Parlin added 133 yards in 17 carries. He ran for a touchdown and was on the receiving end on another.
Esperanza clinched a Division III playoff berth with the victory. The Aztecs improved to 6-3 overall and 3-1 in league play, good enough for a share of second place with Loara. Esperanza plays league-leading Los Alamitos next Friday for a shot at the league championship.
Katella dropped to 3-5-1 overall and 1-3 in league.