Week 5 South Bay Game of the Week: Santana Sultans 35, Montgomery Aztecs 6

The Santana Sultans stifling defense stymied the Aztecs’ offense beating Montgomery, 35-6, in the South Bay Game of the Week.

After back-to-back shutouts, the Sultans put on display the best defense in Division IV. Through five games, they have allowed the least amount of points in the division with 32. They had two interceptions in the first half from Nathan Hughes and Nick Valentine and made big fourth-down stops in the second half. Two-way player Dawud Saddler had a good night on both sides of the ball.

Halfway through the season and the Sultans are the favorite for taking the Grossmont Valley League and the Division. That can be said with confidence because their offense is just as good as their defense.

Nathan Temple had four passing touchdowns on the night. The senior stands tall in the pocket and can make all the throws. He is a dual-threat, as seen on multiple occasions on Friday, with the ability to allude pressure finding an open receiver or running it for big gains.

Santana has a nice 1-2 punch in the backfield. Brooks Moutaw is the workhorse and will even line up wide in a spread formation. Saddler is a bruising 220 pounds and has good footwork complimenting Moutaw. The Sultans’ top receiver is Randy Smith. The senior had three receiving touchdowns on the night and gives Temple a big target on the outside.

Santana’s X-factor is Nathan Hughes, as he does it offensively, defensively, and can boot the ball as a field goal kicker better than anyone we’ve seen all season in our South Bay Game of the Week. The senior had two receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown along with an interception. He also made all five of his extra-point attempts.

Santana has 26 seniors and their experience has helped them outscore their opponents 203-32 through the first five games.

Montgomery didn’t lose as bad as the score indicates, down 14-6 at the half. The Aztecs were outscored in the second half, 21-0, allowing two touchdowns in the last eight minutes of the fourth quarter. They played well through three quarters, but Santana kept the pedal to the metal offensively.

We have yet to see Castle Park in person but don’t be surprised if the Aztecs ran the table to win the Metro-Pacific League.

Similar to the Sultans, the Aztecs are solid on both sides of the ball. The defensive secondary has ball hawks. Alex Flores closed in on a pass that he was initially beat on but made an exceptional play for the interception. Isiah King also had a nice interception that would make collegiate coaches take notice. King is a two-way player who can take over a game.

Montgomery quarterback Alexander Dixie is the most athletic quarterback in the South Bay and throws a nice ball, as well. He broke a couple of big plays with his legs and showed the ability to make most throws. The bright spot for the Aztecs is Jaheem Williams. The junior had 22 carries for 144 yards and will be a big factor for the Aztecs down the stretch.

Montgomery will look to get back to its winning ways with a home game against Mar Vista. Santana will get back-to-back weeks against an undefeated team as they head back home to play Vincent Memorial.


PREVIEW

The top two teams in Division IV will battle it out for the South Bay Game of the Week as Santana travels south to take on Montgomery in Week 5.

After leading the Aztecs to a 5-5 finish in his first year as head coach, Freddy Dunkle has resurrected the program into a fine-tuned machine.

Dunkle’s ability to change the program’s culture in less than two seasons has been remarkable. He will be the first to tell you it begins with a strong coaching staff.

Offensive coordinator Demarco Sampson and Defensive Coordinator TJ McKay both played with Dunkle at San Diego State and bring the mental approach that’s necessary to succeed in the sport.

The Aztecs have averaged 40 points per game. Quarterback Alexander Dixie has led the way passing for 497 yards and seven touchdowns. The dual-threat and two-way player also leads the team with 278 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns.

The team welcomed back Jaheem Willaims last week. He immediately had an impact rushing for 187 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. The junior also returned a punt for a touchdown that sealed the win against Kearny last week.

The last time Montgomery played in a South Bay Game of the Week was Week 1 last season. The player of the game was Christian Venegas. With an extra year under his belt, Venegas is a force to be reckoned with on both sides of the ball. The sophomore leads the team with five rushing touchdowns and is third on the team with 28 tackles.

While Montgomery has only allowed 31 points this season, Santana leads Division IV, only allowing 26. This year, they are 2-0 against South Bay teams beating Mar Vista, 41-0, and Sweetwater, 48-0.

Although it is a small sample size, the Sultans have also dominated Montgomery.

In the four games played (2016, 2015, 2005, 2004), Santana has outscored the Aztecs, 144-14. There is no correlation between those games played, but it is just another example of how far the program has come for Montgomery.

Talk about bringing a program back, eighth-year Head Coach Tim Estes was 1-8 in his first season and 1-9 in his second season. He has had multiple successful seasons along the way, but this year is shaping up to be his best.

Watch the highlights of the South Bay Game of the Week on KUSI’s Prep Pigskin Report at 11 p.m.

Categories: Game of the Week – South Bay, This Week’s Games