By all accounts, numbers and comparisons, the Los Amigos High football team was destined to breeze through its matchup with Saddleback on Thursday night.
The two sides had one common opponent on the young season, Dana Hills, a team which the Lobos defeated by two points in Week Zero and the Roadrunners fell by 41 points last week. Not to mention Saddleback had yet to score a point through its first three games of the season.
But Los Amigos didn’t overlook the Roadrunners, as evidenced by the first play of the game where running back Brian Pacheco trucked his way through four Saddleback defenders and stiff-armed a fifth to break off a 39-yard gain.
That first drive, and the four consecutive after that, resulted in touchdowns as Los Amigos trounced Saddleback 48-0 in a nonleague game at Garden Grove High.
“We talked all week about getting better, doing the little things right and building good habits so that we could come out and not struggle coming off of a bye week,” Lobos coach Carl Agnew said. “We competed at practice against ourselves and made it harder than what we saw in the game.”
Los Amigos (2-1) jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead over Saddleback (0-4) in the first quarter, which started with a four-yard run from Pacheco on the opening possession of the game, capping a five-play, 55-yard drive. Pacheco had 16 carries for 145 yards and three touchdowns.
The Lobos went to the air for the next two scores. Senior quarterback Brandon Tinoco connected with junior wide receiver Adolfo Chavez for touchdown passes of 22 and 40 yards.
We talked all week about getting better, doing the little things right and building good habits so that we could come out and not struggle coming off of a bye.
The offensive balance was something that Agnew was pleased with throughout the contest.
“We’re distributing the ball much better this year than we did last year,” Agnew said. “All of these guys came back from last year’s team and they all know our game plan.”
The game plan in the second quarter was to go back to the ground with Pacheco. The junior scored his second touchdown of the game on a 26-yard run at the 8:23 mark of the second quarter, giving the Lobos a 28-0 advantage.
Pacheco then tacked on his final score of the game just over four minutes later on a physical 19-yard rumble up the middle, boosting Los Amigos’ cushion to 35 points heading into halftime.
The Lobos went to a more methodical offensive approach in the third and fourth quarters, scoring once in each period.
Tinoco connected with Chavez for a third touchdown on a 28-yard strike at the 2:59 mark of the third and Andrew Cummins put a bow on the win with a 58-yard touchdown run with 2:35 to play.
Chavez, who had five receptions for 108 yards, said that the team’s mind-set, and the offensive line, were huge factors for the Lobos.
“Our leaders kept us focused and our five guys up front did a great job tonight,” Chavez said. “We need to come into next week with the same positive attitude and try to keep this rolling.”
Los Amigos has a nonleague game at Costa Mesa on Sept. 14, followed by another big game at Garden Grove on Sept. 21. Agnew found plenty of things to press his team on despite the lopsided score.
“There were some times where our defense gave up critical first downs,” he said. “We gave up some big plays that, against a Garden Grove or a La Quinta, will cost us because they will turn those into points.”
Los Amigos 48, Saddleback 0
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Saddleback 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 — 0
Los Amigos 21 – 14 – 7 – 6 — 48
LA – Pacheco 4 run (Barriga kick), 9:14.
LA – Chavez 22 pass from Tinoco (Barriga kick), 7:07.
LA – Chavez 40 pass from Tinoco (Barriga kick), 3:57.
LA – Pacheco 26 run (Barriga kick), 8:23.
LA – Pacheco 19 run (Barriga kick), 4:04.
LA – Chavez 28 pass from Tinoco (Barriga kick), 2:59.
LA – Cummins 58 run (kick failed), 2:35.
S – Marin, 15-39.
LA – Pacheco, 16-145, 3 TDs.
S – Ayala, 4-6-0, 27.
LA – Tinoco, 9-13-0, 147, 3 TDs.
S – Melgoza, 2-32.
LA – Chavez, 5-108, 3 TDs.
DEVIN UGLAND is a contributor to Times Community News. Follow him on Twitter: @Devin_Ugland