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Orange too tough as Estancia football suffers first league loss

Nathan Pacheco (31) applies pressure for Estancia High on Orange quarterback Daylen Pedroza (3) in an Orange Coast League game at Jim Scott Stadium on Friday.
(Christine Cotter)

Most of the high school football games around Orange County on Friday night were rescheduled due to lightning.

Lightning struck often in the distance to the north of Jim Scott Stadium, and the rain was heavy at times, but no thunder was heard as Estancia faced Orange.

“We talked to the referees, and they said as long as there’s not lightning with thunder,” Orange coach Robert Pedroza said. “They let the game go on, and I was fine with that.”

The Eagles and Panthers managed to get their game in.


Well, almost all of it.

The power went out in the stadium after Estancia called a timeout with 57 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Soon after, the officials called the game.

Visiting Orange provided plenty of electrifying plays before the end, earning a 49-18 Orange Coast League victory and staying unbeaten in the league.

Orange (7-1, 3-0 in league), ranked No. 3 in CIF Southern Section Division 9, broke a three-way tie for first place in the league. Estancia (5-3, 2-1), which is No. 8 in Division 13, dropped to third place after losing its homecoming game.


Santa Ana (2-0 in league) had its game against Saddleback postponed on Friday, with a make-up time to be determined.

We talked to the referees, and they said as long as there’s not lightning with thunder. They let the game go on, and I was fine with that.
Robert Pedroza, Orange High coach

The Panthers jumped ahead from the start against Estancia, as sophomore Isaiah Adetoye took the opening kickoff back 92 yards for a touchdown. It was one of two special teams touchdowns given up by Estancia. Andrew Andrade added an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter for Orange, which won the Division 13 title last season.

“We gave up two, that was key, and we [struggled] in the red zone twice too,” Estancia coach Mike Bargas said. “I told the kids, against those kinds of athletes, you have to play pretty perfect football … But we played hard. I felt like we ran out of time on offense, because we were starting to get some stuff going.”

The Eagles had trouble containing dual-threat Orange sophomore quarterback Daylen Pedroza, who passed for 186 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for 108 yards and three scores. He has 11 passing touchdowns and 11 rushing touchdowns this season.

“He’s a great football player,” Robert Pedroza said. “He’s only a sophomore, and he’s going to get better and better. He’s learning as he goes. He’s a big run threat, and now he’s throwing the ball pretty well for us. It’s nice to have those options with him.”

Trevor Pacheco had 23 carries for 100 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles, who trailed 26-6 at halftime. Junior quarterback Jaycen Cash had an electrifying 46-yard scramble for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, dragging a defensive back with him for the final several yards into the end zone.

Jaycen Cash, left, runs with the ball in Estancia High’s Orange Coast League game at home against Orange on Friday.
(Christine Cotter)

The Eagles did get pressure on Pedroza at times. Nathan Pacheco and Mario Mondragon combined on a sack in the first half, and Cameron Ruehling had one in the second half.

Estancia also was aided by Orange committing nine penalties for 115 yards, including four personal fouls and two unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties. Despite the physical play, Bargas said his team suffered no major injuries.

“You just have to play pretty flawless football to beat those guys,” Bargas said. “I thought we could win the game. We just made too many mistakes, but I don’t feel horrible about it because the kids didn’t back down.”

It won’t get easier for Estancia, which plays Santa Ana on Oct. 19 at Santa Ana Stadium. The Saints are ranked No. 5 in Division 8.


Orange Coast League

Orange 49, Estancia 18



Orange 16 – 10 – 15 – 8 — 49

Estancia 0 – 6 – 6 – 6 — 18


O – Adetoye 92 KO return (Moses run), 11:48.

O – Pedroza 1 run (Soakai pass from Pedroza), 2:24.


E – T. Pacheco 1 run (kick failed), 11:55.

O – Pedroza 1 run (Orendain run), 8:52.

O – Safety (punter ran out of back of end zone), 6:37.


O – Adetoye 36 pass from Pedroza (Moses run), 7:06.

E – T. Pacheco 5 run (pass failed), 3:20.

O – Andrade 80 KO return (Guzman kick), 3:02.


E – Cash 46 run (pass failed), 7:48.

O – Pedroza 13 run (Moses run), 3:45.


O – Pedroza, 15-108, 3 TDs.

E – T. Pacheco, 23-100, 2 TDs.


O –Pedroza, 8-11-0, 186, 1 TD.

E – Cash, 4-12-0, 50.


O – Soakai, 2-61.

E – Lambert, 1-25.

Twitter: @mjszabo