COSTA MESA — By the time the Estancia High football team finally got in the end zone Friday night at Jim Scott Stadium, the home fans were more than a little restless.
After senior quarterback Brad Wilson ran in the conversion run, those fans did not see the Eagles' tally on the scoreboard change from six to eight points.
They yelled to the scoreboard operator to change the points. He had done so, but nobody could see the change, as some of the lights on the scoreboard are apparently burned out.
It didn't really matter. By that time, visiting Los Amigos was well on its way to turning the lights out on the Eagles' season.
Estancia picked a bad time to play its worst game of the year, and Los Amigos took advantage. The result was a 41-14 loss in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs.
Los Amigos (8-3) will play host to top-seeded defending champion Corona del Mar in the quarterfinals next week. The Eagles' season is over.
Estancia Coach Mike Bargas struggled to find words to explain Friday night's game, and it was easy to understand why. Estancia committed a season-high seven turnovers, which included five lost fumbles, an interception and a muffed punt.
"Los Amigos played well, and we just could not get it started on either side of the ball," Bargas said. "The football had eyes. We just could not hang onto the football. When we had an opportunity to do something, we coughed it up ... It was terrible. You just can't win football games like that.
"We're in Week 11 of the season, and we shot ourselves in the foot a few times."
The Eagles (7-4) also had trouble stopping Los Amigos senior running back Jerry Saldivar, who rumbled for 222 yards and three touchdowns. Saldivar, who came into the game second in Orange County in rushing yards, is listed at just 5-foot-6, but the shifty back played bigger than that.
The game began to get away from Estancia as early as the second quarter, when the Eagles fumbled the ball in the red zone at the Los Amigos 18-yard line with 6:24 left in the half.
The Lobos, the second-place team from the Garden Grove League, went on a long drive. Junior quarterback Anthony Magana finished it with a 29-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Luis Casas. Estancia senior lineman Adahir Aguilera hit Magana hard on the play, but he was just able to get off the pass.
That made the score 21-0, Los Amigos. On the Eagles' next play from scrimmage, Matt Camargo of Los Amigos recovered a fumble and ran it back 46 yards for a score with 1:08 left in the half. Suddenly, the Eagles were staring at a 28-0 halftime deficit.
"Coming into this week, we all knew Estancia is a team to look out for," Saldivar said. "But we came out and practiced real hard the whole week. Our coaches coached us up real good, everything a good team does to prepare for another good team. We came out and we were well-prepared.
"When they made mistakes, we were able to jump on it. We made the best out of it."
Estancia didn't score until senior quarterback Brad Wilson hit senior receiver Henry Vasquez on a seven-yard touchdown pass midway through the third quarter. But by then, Los Amigos was already up, 34-0.
Senior running back Robert Murtha scored the final touchdown of his sparkling three-year varsity career in the fourth quarter, from 27 yards out. Murtha had a standout game with 31 carries for 207 yards and a touchdown. But the vast majority of those yards (148 of them) came in the second half, with Estancia already down big.
Senior Edwin Medero had an interception, a rare defensive highlight for the Eagles. Estancia also lost senior linemen Dan Cabrera and Jose Toledo to knee injuries during the contest.
Saldivar is excited as the Lobos will face CdM in the quarterfinals for the second straight year.
Last year CdM beat Los Amigos, 45-7.
"We lost to them in the second round last year," Saldivar said. "So we're coming in to maybe get a little revenge, you know?"
Estancia wanted its crack at CdM, the team it scrimmaged at the start of the season. Instead, the season ended for the Eagles in a disappointing way.
"Just too many mistakes," Bargas said. "We played a really good game last week, but tonight things just didn't really click for us. It just kind of leaves a bad taste in your mouth, that we didn't play like we could have and should have."
CIF Southern Section Southern
Los Amigos 41, Estancia 14
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Los Amigos 7 – 21 – 6 – 7 — 41
Estancia 0 – 0 – 8 – 6 — 14
LA – Perez 15 pass from Magana (Hernandez kick), 1:56.
LA – Saldivar 21 run (Hernandez kick), 9:22.
LA – Casas 29 pass from Magana (Hernandez kick), 1:32.
LA – Camargo 46 fumble return (Hernandez kick), 1:08.
LA – Saldivar 7 run (kick failed), 6:39.
Est – Vasquez 7 pass from Wilson (Wilson run), 4:09.
LA – Saldivar 2 run (Hernandez kick), 4:28.
Est – Murtha 27 run (pass failed), 3:13.
LA – Saldivar, 38-222, 3 TDs.
Est – Murtha, 21-207, 1 TD.
LA – Magana, 12-18-1, 133, 2 TDs.
Est – Wilson, 5-12-1, 34, 1 TD.
LA – Casas, 4-47, 1 TD; Perez, 5-42, 1 TD.
Est – Vasquez, 3-20, 1 TD.