Santana Sultans 23, Mar Vista Mariners 6

Another beautiful temperate Friday night in San Diego played host to the semifinal rounds of the 2018 CIF San Diego Section Football playoffs. Teams around the county spent the night battling it out for a shot at their respective divisional title games. One such meeting was between the Santana Sultans (6-4) and the Mar Vista Mariners (7-3). The game remained close all-night, but the visiting Sultans emerged victorious by a final tally of 23-6.

The game leaped out to a fast start as Mar Vista scored on their opening possession and Santana on their second. The touchdowns were a pair of short-yardage rushing plays. The 3-yard strike from the Mariners’ QB Jacob Galeana would be the only Mar Vista score of the night. Santana’s Brooks Moutaw immediately replied with his own 7-yard scamper to pay dirt, giving the Sultans a 7-6 lead.

Santana would not relinquish this lead at any point for the rest of the game, and the next few drives saw QB Nathan Temple connect on several long gains. Throughout the night, Temple spread the field and hit several different receivers.

His top target on the night was Randy Smith, who came down with several great receptions. Temple and Smith set three school records last week, one of them being the six touchdowns the pair combined for. Passing touchdowns weren’t in the books for the Sultans tonight, but the pair were still responsible for moving the offense in leaps and bounds.

Santana finally pulled away from the Mariners in the 2nd Quarter as Chaz Baker fielded a Mariners punt and returned it 57-yards for the touchdown. This 14-6 lead would eventually climb to a 17-point difference. With just ten seconds left in the game, Temple punched the ball across the endzone line, bringing an end to the Mariners’ season.

Mar Vista fought hard and achieved significant success with the rushing attack. Galeana was a deadly option at both quarterback and running back, but the passing game had significant trouble getting off the ground. The Mariners also lost two fumbles while in good field position, which allowed the Sultans to maintain their momentum throughout the game.

This result means that Santana will progress on to the CIF Division-IV Finals against San Diego High. That game will be played next Friday at Southwestern College, kickoff at 1p.m. As always, you can catch the final scores and highlights from all of San Diego Section’s Playoff games on KUSI’s Prep Pigskin Report at 11p.m.!

———-PREVIEW———-

The 2018 CIF San Diego Section Football Playoffs kicked off with a bang last week, as football fans around the county were treated to a full-slate of highly competitive matchups. This week looks to provide more of the same as the top seeds from each league enter the fray, fresh off their well-earned (and badly-needed) bye week. One such game features the Santana Sultans (6-5) and the hosts, the Mar Vista Mariners (7-3).

The bye-week was a luxury for the Mariners, who will also rumble into this showdown with the momentum of their 40-13 win over Sweetwater two weeks ago. Santana shouldn’t lack confidence either; the Sultans shattered several school and CIF-section records in last week’s 76-55 win over La Jolla Country Day.

It was an exciting day for the Santana student body, and that day started bright and early. Our very own Allison Edmonds showed up on campus last Friday morning for the Week 12 Alarm Clock Pep Rally ahead of the Game of the Week clash later that night.

Santana clearly fed off this overabundance of energy and rode it to the highest combined final score in CIF history. Amazingly, this wouldn’t be the only record to fall by the end of the night.

The seventy-six Santana points set a team record, and this was just the start. Quarterback Nathan Temple took ownership of two school records with his astonishing 532-yard, seven touchdown performance. In addition, receiver Randy Smith set his own school record with six receiving touchdowns.

One of the Mariners tasked with stopping this offense is also the newest inductee into Shack’s Pig Pen, Damon Thomas. Thomas might be an undersized defensive lineman (by his own admission), but he’s exceptionally quick. The stats certainly don’t lie; he has an incredible sixty tackles and thirteen sacks on the year. Thomas will look to spearhead the Mariner defensive efforts and disrupt the pass-heavy Sultans.

When fans see the Mar Vista offense hit the field, they can expect to see a devotion to the run-game that few other programs embrace. Nearly every offensive snap of the past few weeks has been a rushing play. In the rare instances where Mar Vista does pass, the completions usually result in massive gains.

Santana will have their hands full with running back/quarterback Jacob Galeana, who takes most of the rushing attempts. Galeana frequently finishes with several hundred all-purpose yards, and figures to be the focal point of the Mariner offensive.

This CIF-San Diego Section Quarterfinal is shaping up to be a thrilling contest. Anyone who wants to experience this chapter in CIF history should arrive in time for the 7p.m. kickoff at Mar Vista High. Those who can’t make it can always catch the final score and highlights on KUSI’s Prep Pigskin Report at 11p.m.!

Categories: This Week’s Games

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