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Week 6 High School Football Preview: Costa Mesa vs. Santa Ana

Week 6 High School Football Preview: Costa Mesa vs. Santa Ana
Costa Mesa High coach David Gutierrez, pictured on the right during a practice on Aug. 14, will face his former team in Santa Ana on Thursday. (Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

When/where: 7 p.m. Thursday at Costa Mesa High

Key Mustangs: So. QB Joe Paxson; Jr. RB Bryan Hernandez; So. DE Erick Ibarra; Sr. LB Marcos Aguilar

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Key Saints: Sr. QB Julian Gomez (44 of 78 passing for 479 yards, one TD and one INT; 33 carries for 286 yards and one TD); Sr. RB/DBDrew Ramirez (88 carries for 665 yards and three TDs; 22 catches for 200 yards; 26 tackles); Sr. TE/DE Nick Larriva (nine catches for 172 yards and one TD; 37 tackles, six sacks)

Breakdown: The Mustangs (0-5) host the Saints (3-2) in an Orange Coast League opener. By virtue of Santa Ana’s move to the Orange Coast League, first-year Mustangs coach David Gutierrez will immediately oppose his former team. Gutierrez took over the Mustangs’ program after serving as the defensive coordinator at Santa Ana last season … Costa Mesa will be without starting quarterback Blake Juncker (knee and back), as well as center and defensive tackle Carlos Aguilera (knee). Paxson, a sophomore, will start at quarterback. Junior Andrew Camargo will handle the snapping duties. Costa Mesa carries an 11-game losing streak into Thursday’s game … Santa Ana, ranked seventh in the CIF Southern Section Division 8 poll, has made playoff appearances in four consecutive seasons under coach Charlie TeGantvoort, advancing to the Division 13 final in 2016. The Saints have produced 1,405 rushing yards (281 yards per game).

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