The Saint Augustine Saints crowned themselves Western League champs after defeating the Mira Mesa Marauders 42-26 Friday night thanks to Deandre Daniels dominating performance.
Daniels, a senior, finished the night with four rushing touchdowns and a kick-off return for a touchdown.
"He's an unbelievable guy when he gets in the open field," Head Coach Richard Sanchez said of his running back. "I'm really excited about him and I think we're just scratching the surface on his potential right now."
The Saints improved to 6-3 and 3-0 in league play heading into next week's showdown with rival Cathedral Catholic.
Before turning their attention to the Dons, they plan on enjoying their league championship tonight.
"I'm really proud of the guys that they accomplished that feat when you had two state champions come out of this league last year," Sanchez said. "We're looking forward to next week but we're going to celebrate tonight and focus on them (Cathedral Catholic) tomorrow."
The Saints had trouble holding on to the ball in the second quarter, fumbling two times and allowing Mira Mesa to hang around. Despite the mistakes, St. Augustine took a 21-6 lead into the half.
Daniels, with two rushing touchdowns in the first half, returned the second half kick-off 95 yards for a touchdown to begin the route.
He followed that up with a 55 yard touchdown run halfway through the third quarter.
He added a 19 yard touchdown run with a spin move that you normally see in a video game.
The Saints lead 42-12 heading into the fourth quarter when they pulled their starters.
Noah Tumblin and the Mira Mesa offense had difficulty moving the ball against the Saints.
Tumblin, one of the top and most versatile quarterbacks in the county, was the main focus of the Saints' defense.
"We did a tremendous job but the number one thing was taking 75% of their offense away which was their quarterback Tumblin," Sanchez said of the defensive game plan. "They run a lot of read options stuff but we had a good game plan for them."
Mira Mesa finishes the regular season next week against Madison at home. Kick-off is at 6:30 p.m.
The Saints travel to Cathedral Catholic to finish off their memorable season. Kick-off is at 7 p.m.
PREVIEW: This Friday night, the St. Augustine Saints will look to remain in first place in the Western League when they take on league-rivals the Mira Mesa Marauders at Mesa College.
Both teams enter the game 5-3, but find themselves on opposites sides of the standings.
Mira Mesa was 5-1 before entering league play. Unfortunately for the Marauders, they play in one of the toughest leagues in San Diego. They were dominated by Point Loma 34-6 and played tough against defending open division state champs Cathedral Catholic before losing 26-16.
On the other end, St. Augustine has found success in Western play, topping Point Loma 53-34 and knocking off defending state champion Madison 19-10.
Based on recent results, one would assume the Saints will remain undefeated in Western play after Friday night.
However, the Marauders will be lead by junior quarterback Noah Tumblin, who leads the league, by far, with 1,570 passing yards, 751 more than the next closest quarterback. His 623 rushing yards has him fourth in the league as well.
Junior receiver Artyom Harr has emerged as one of the top receiving threats in the county. He has 738 yards receiving along with 8 touchdowns.
The Saints are not the flashiest team, but they will get after the quarterback and effectively run the ball all night.
Seniors Andrew Alves and Isaac Hall have been terrorizing offenses all season long. Alves has 11 tackles for loss including 2 sacks. Hall has 13 tackles for loss with 7 sacks.
On offense, expect senior DeAndre Daniels to carry the load. This season he has reached the 100 yard mark four times and has 10 rushing touchdowns.
It's a pivotal game for both teams. A loss for the Marauders will all but clinch a last place finish in league. A win for the Saints will clinch at least a share of the league title.
Kick off is at 7 p.m.