In many ways, the Estancia High football team’s start has been a surprise.
Eagles coach Mike Bargas admitted that he did not expect the offense to be this potent, calling the high-scoring unit “a blessing.”
Blessings come in a variety of forms, and the best one of all may be the Eagles’ record.
Trevor Pacheco produced 250 yards of offense and three total touchdowns, as visiting Estancia defeated Santiago 42-7 in Friday’s nonleague game at Garden Grove High.
For the first time in Bargas’ 12-year tenure at Estancia, the Eagles have opened a season 3-0.
“All we know is the last time we were 2-0 was about six years ago,” Pacheco said. “I don’t know about 3-0. It feels good, though.”
Estancia had won its first two games just twice under Bargas, in 2011 and 2012.
The Eagles came out like a team filled with confidence. They reached into their bag of tricks on their first offensive play. Jaycen Cash took the snap and threw a lateral pass to Pacheco. The senior running back threw down the field to Nathan Guyot, who had gotten behind the defense, for a 49-yard touchdown.
“I put that in last night about nine o’clock,” Bargas said. “Looking at their defense and studying it, I knew that they were going to come fly. They blitz a lot on first-and-10. I said, ‘This thing, we’re either going to get sacked, or we’re going to pop it for a big one.’ ”
Pacheco was kept under wraps in the first quarter on the ground. He had just nine yards on his first six carries, but that was soon to change. By halftime, Pacheco had 101 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He also had two catches for 51 yards.
“It took a little bit of time to open it up, but our line stuck to it, and so did our receivers,” Pacheco said. “They blocked outstanding tonight.”
Cash completed six of his 12 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown. His lone touchdown came when he connected with wide receiver Ryan Carrillo, who was split out to the left, on a skinny post that went for 73 yards.
Carrillo’s touchdown reception extended Estancia’s lead to 21-0 with 1:48 left in the first quarter. Pacheco’s second rushing touchdown, a 12-yard dash down the right end, made it 28-0.
Santiago’s Derrick Martin broke a 40-yard run to get the Cavaliers (2-1) on the board with 3:30 remaining in the second quarter. That was the halftime score, but it could have been more.
Estancia worked the ball down to the Santiago two with two seconds on the clock. Bargas kept the offense on the field, and Pacheco was stopped short of the goal line on a dive.
“I don’t have any regrets,” Bargas said jovially. “I’m too old to do that stuff, to second-guess myself. I thought we were getting off the ball, and one guy leaked through.”
Cash attempted just two passes in the second half, both of which went for interceptions. The second was picked off deep in Estancia territory by Ivan Esquibel. Instead of a red-zone opportunity for Santiago, the Eagles stripped the ball from Esquibel.
The momentum swung in a flash, with Guyot finishing the play by returning the fumble 84 yards to give the Eagles a 35-7 lead at the 6:30 mark of the third quarter.
“Damien [Lambert] stood him up, so the ball got loose,” Guyot said. “I just took it and ran. Honestly, I wasn’t thinking. I was just running towards the end zone.”
David Palacios had an interception, Nathan Pacheco had a fumble recovery on the goal line, and Timmy Kibin added three tackles for a loss for the Eagles’ defense.
“I thought our defense killed it,” Bargas said. “The last couple of games, our offense has done a little better, and tonight, the defense, they were smacking people. They were playing physical football. It was pretty impressive to watch those guys fly around and shut down their offense.”
Estancia 42, Santiago 7
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Estancia 21 – 7 – 14 – 0 — 42
Santiago 0 – 7 – 0 – 0 — 7
E – Guyot 49 pass from T. Pacheco (Perez kick), 9:39.
E – T. Pacheco 2 run (Perez kick), 4:50.
E – Carrillo 73 pass from Cash (Perez kick), 1:48.
E – T. Pacheco 12 run (Perez kick), 8:03.
S – Martin 40 run (Martinez kick), 3:30.
E – Guyot 84 fumble return (Perez kick), 6:30.
E – Cash 2 run (Perez kick), 1:19.
E – T. Pacheco, 20-150, 2 TDs.
S – Martin, 14-74, 1 TD.
E – Cash, 6-12-2, 160, 1 TD.
S – Monroy, 2-5-1, 16.
E – Carrillo, 1-73, 1 TD.