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Santa Ana High School Student Publication

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Football team suffers first league loss, heads to CIF playoffs

The Saints open the postseason on the road tonight
Photo by Hector Rubin

The Santa Ana Saints were defeated by the Orange High School Panthers in a 14-0 shutout last Friday night on the road in the Orange Coast League finale. 

The result created a 3-way tie atop the league alongside Orange and St. Margaret’s entering the CIF-Southern Section Division 9 playoffs.

“We felt pretty rough after the game but we are ready to move forward,”  senior running back Charles Hughes said. 

Orange tallied all of the scoring on rushing touchdowns (1, 49) from senior Ardwon Morris, who racked up 369 yards on the night.  

The Saints had a total of 135 total yards of offense consisting of 82 passing yards and 53 rushing yards. 

“Obviously we were all disappointed,” head coach Rory Schoonmaker said. “I don’t think any of us feel we put our best game together from the coaching staff down to the players.”  

“I think it was a unique scenario for us as a team,” he added. “In the past, on a yearly basis, it comes down to the end of the season, us versus Orange, both undefeated in league, playing for 1st and 2nd place; this year win or loss we were going to be league champions in some capacity (either outright or shared). I think perhaps that may have had a negative effect on our approach and mentality going into the game and the week.  And frankly, that comes back on me, my primary job is to set the tone and mentality for the team.” 

The Saints will start the CIF playoffs tonight against the Santa Monica Vikings on the road at 7 p.m. The winner will go on to face the winner of Monrovia/Troy next week in the second round. 

“I think it is a good match-up and should be a battle.  They are big, and athletic, and they play in an outstanding league, so they have seen great competition already this season,” Schoonmaker said. “I know they are a newer staff and a younger team, but their skills and talent are pretty evident when watching film. Should be a good game that will come down to who can execute the best and protect the ball. Our division, top-to-bottom, is going to be extremely competitive.  With all of us having similar state rankings, it’s going to be about who has the desire to win, who can stay healthy, and who can execute in the big moments.  It will be a really fun division to watch.” 



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