Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Sierra Canyon football bolsters resume by defeating Orange Lutheran

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COSTA MESA — Orange Lutheran’s football team wanted to gauge its mettle after a lopsided loss. Sierra Canyon wanted to beat its second Trinity League opponent in as many tries.

The Trailblazers secured their desired result Friday in a clash of highly-ranked teams at Orange Coast College.

Quarterback Wyatt Becker tossed two first-half touchdowns and the defense racked up five sacks and two interceptions as Sierra Canyon bolstered a potential CIF-SS Division 1 playoff resume with a 40-6 victory.

  • Orange Lutheran running back Steve Chavez, left, muscles his way...

    Orange Lutheran running back Steve Chavez, left, muscles his way for more yardage near the end zone to set up a Orange Lutheran touchdown against Sierra Canyon in a non-league football game in Costa Mesa on Friday, September 15, 2023. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Sierra Canyon running back Dane Dunn, center, breaks free for...

    Sierra Canyon running back Dane Dunn, center, breaks free for a big gain against Orange Lutheran in a non-league football game in Costa Mesa on Friday, September 15, 2023. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Sierra Canyon wide receiver Cole Crawford, left, beats Orange Lutheran...

    Sierra Canyon wide receiver Cole Crawford, left, beats Orange Lutheran defensive back Chris Magalong to make the touchdown catch late in the second quarter in a non-league football game in Costa Mesa on Friday, September 15, 2023. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Orange Lutheran quarterback Alex Medyn, left, gets ready to fire...

    Orange Lutheran quarterback Alex Medyn, left, gets ready to fire a pass against Sierra Canyon in a non-league football game in Costa Mesa on Friday, September 15, 2023. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Sierra Canyon’s Nevada Miller and wide receiver Ruben Gamboa celebrate...

    Sierra Canyon’s Nevada Miller and wide receiver Ruben Gamboa celebrate after a touchdown in the first quarter against Orange Lutheran in a non-league football game in Costa Mesa on Friday, September 15, 2023. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Orange Lutheran running back Steve Chavez, right, fights his way...

    Orange Lutheran running back Steve Chavez, right, fights his way into the end zone to score a touch down against Sierra Canyon in a non-league football game in Costa Mesa on Friday, September 15, 2023. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Running back Terrell Cooks Jr. also rushed for two scores for Sierra Canyon (4-0), which entered the nonleague game coming off its bye week.

The Trailblazers, ranked fourth in the state by Calpreps, opened the season by edging Trinity League member JSerra 9-7 in Chatsworth.

The reigning CIF-SS Division 2 champion grabbed a second victory against a Trinity League foe by continuing to play stellar defense.

Sierra Canyon held its previous three opponents to a combined 21 points, and limited Orange Lutheran to six points through three periods.

The Trailblazers capitalized on the first stop by their defense. They drove 80 yards on their opening possession for a 5-yard touchdown run on a reverse by Cooks. The Lancers blocked the PAT.

Orange Lutheran (3-2) was coming off a 35-10 loss at Chandler of Arizona last week.

The Lancers also fed off their defense early. After a sack by Keelan Tagoa’i help provide good field position, Orange Lutheran drove 47 yards for a 1-yard TD run by Steve Chavez. The Trailblazers blocked the PAT to keep the score locked 6-6 with 9:14 left in the second quarter.

Chavez rushed for 120 yards on 19 carries.

Sierra Canyon seized control with two touchdowns to take a 20-6 lead before halftime. Becker tossed a 33-yard TD strike to Cole Crawford and a 4-yard screen to running back Dane Dunn.

Late in the fourth, Dunn scored on a 1-yard run while De’markus Barnes added a 20-yard interception return for a TD.

The Lancers, ranked No. 2 in Orange County and seventh in the state, toughened their nonleague schedule by design. Coach Rod Sherman aimed to teach his team about adversity and prepare for the Trinity League by playing teams such as Sierra Canyon and Chandler.

Orange Lutheran played without quarterback TJ Lateef, who was injured last week. Sophomore Alex Medyn started in his place but left after a tackle in the second quarter. Freshman Julian Medina took over the QB duties that might have went to John Gazzaniga, who enrolled at Santa Margarita in late August.

Next week, Orange Lutheran takes its bye before opening the Trinity League at JSerra on Sept. 29. Sierra Canyon play host to Saguaro of Arizona on Friday, Sept. 22.

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