Servite opens season with domination over Edison by land and air

Servite quarterback Noah Fifita warms up before a game against Edison.
Servite quarterback Noah Fifita warms up before a game against Edison on Aug. 20, 2021.
(Devin Ugland / For The Times)

Anaheim Servite football coach Troy Thomas said he was looking for a way to reignite the Friars-Edison regular-season tradition, but he probably didn’t plan for it to happen the way it did with Servite routing Huntington Beach Edison 54-14.

Servite’s season-opening opponent, La Puente Bishop Amat, was forced to push back its game against the Friars because of COVID-19 precautions, and it just so happened that Edison was in search of a game after Venice had to pull out for similar reasons.

Thomas picked up the phone and dialed Chargers coach Jeff Grady, who was the quarterback at Fresno State when Thomas was on the football staff there, and the two programs agreed to play at Santa Ana Stadium.


“I always like playing against Edison,” Thomas said before the game. “They run their program similar to how we run ours. Their kids play tough and play hard, and our guys get better when we play them.”

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Servite (1-0) came out of the opening kickoff looking like they were in midseason form on both sides of the ball, executing a 10-play, 91-yard scoring drive, capped by an eight-yard touchdown run from Houston Thomas to give the Friars an early 6-0 lead.

That first touchdown for Thomas was just a taste of what he had in store for Edison (0-1) in the first half as he found the end zone again on the next two Servite possessions, adding rushing scores of 46 and 29 yards, helping the Friars take a 20-0 lead at the 10:44 mark of the second quarter.

Servite’s near-perfect first half came to an end when Edison linebacker Peyton Gregory intercepted a pass by Noah Fifita and returned it 37 yards deep into Friars territory.

Parker Awad and Nico Brown connected for a 12-yard touchdown to put Edison on the board and cut Servite’s lead to 20-7 with 3:50 left in the half.

Fifita connected with his future Arizona teammate Keyan Burnett for a 28-yard touchdown and closed out the first half with an eight-yard pass to Oregon commit Tetairoa McMillan to give Servite a 33-7 lead at the half. Fifita finished with three touchdowns.


High school football is back in Southern California, and there has never been a greater gap between the haves and the have-nots.

Aug. 20, 2021