Senior running back Joseph Todd carried his team on his back all season, but he saved his best performance for the biggest game in the history of the Santee High football program.
Todd had the game of his life, rushing 26 times for 282 yards and four touchdowns, catching a touchdown pass and two interceptions on defense to earn most valuable player while leading the Falcons to their first City Section football championship with a 52-20 blowout over Los Angeles Fremont in the Division III final Saturday afternoon at El Camino College.
“I was up all night dreaming about this, we put in so much work… I’m speechless,” Todd said. “This means the world to us. This is our legacy… we put Santee on the map.”
Todd’s last touchdown had everyone in the stadium at a loss for words trying to describe his 18-yard reception on which he hurdled a defender on his way to the end zone.
“Our quarterback told me to do a swing route and he’ll toss it to me,” Todd said. “I was one-on-one and I already hurdled someone earlier in the game but it worked out. Those were also my first two picks of the season. Everyone else had one so I’m glad I joined the club.”
Todd’s effort pushed him over the 3,000-yard mark this season. He has rushed for 3,060 yards and 44 touchdowns in 214 carries and might add to that total if Santee advances to a regional bowl game next week. Quarterback Noe Orea ran for two touchdowns and Andre Herrera added a touchdown run for the top-seeded Falcons (13-1), who won their 12th consecutive game.
Located in downtown Los Angeles, Santee opened in 2005 and fielded its first football team the following year.
Leo Soto returned two kickoffs for touchdowns — a 67-yarder late in the first quarter and a 73-yarder to open the second half for the third-seeded Pathfinders (7-6), who were seeking their eighth City title and first since winning Division II in 2003.