After Santa Ana took the opening kickoff and punted, Pasadena began a sequence of errors that would leave them buried, 23-0, by the end of the first quarter and 43-0 by the end of the half. It all began on third down, when on 3rd down QB Carlos Celis' pass was behind WR Jesse Ayers. As a result, the normally sure-handed receiver was unable to make the catch, and Pasadena had to punt. And on the punt, an errant snap got past punter Ali De La Mora, who finally covered the ball at his own 6-yard line. But the ball went over to Santa Ana on downs, and on the very next play, Buehler powered into the end zone to put the Dons ahead, 7-0.
When Pasadena got the ball back, they drove into Santa Ana territory, largely thanks to the powerful running of 220-pound Ron Williams. But facing 3rd down at the Santa Ana 38, Celis dropped back to pass. And on the play, Santa Ana's Nathan Dedic blitzed, and he stripped the ball from Celis. Austin Collett recovered for the Dons at the Lancer 44. Five plays later, on 4th and 1 at the 25, Buehler again powered through the line and into the end zone, extending the lead to 14-0. Lancer frustration showed on the extra point conversion as 6-9, 395-pound DL Louis West was ejected from the game for kicking an opponent during the kick.
And when Pasadena got the ball back, it just got worse. After a 1-yard gain, an incomplete pass and a 7-yard loss on a sack by Santa Ana's Gabe Rojo, Pasadena again dropped back to punt. This time the snap arrived into the kicker's hands, but it was a floating snap, which allowed the Santa Ana rush plenty of time to get into the backfield. The first to arrive was Jesse Vega, who blocked De La Mora's punt attempt. The ball rolled out of the side of the end zone for a safety, making it 16-0.
On the free kick, Santa Ana's Kaleo Igarta returned the ball 41 yards to the Pasadena 47. On the next play, Morales hooked up with 6-6 WR Finas Rabb on a 39-yard pass play, giving the Dons a first and goal. Two plays later, Devonte Merrifield scampered into the end zone from 8 yards out to make it 23-0 just over 13 minutes into the game.
In the second quarter, Pasadena settled down a little and stopped making such costly mistakes, but the Lancer offense was unable to sustain a drive. The result was three Pasadena punts, and each time the Dons got the ball, the result was another touchdown. First, Igarta scored on a 4th and 1 carry from the 7. On the next drive, Morales threw a 30-yard pass to Cameron Clemons. And on the third score, with just 21.9 seconds left in the half, Morales threw a 37-yard scoring pass to Igarta, making it 43-0 at intermission.
When the third quarter began, Pasadena finally put together a scoring drive, and most of the yardage was gained by Williams. The big back rushed for 68 yards on 6 carries on the drive, and the other 13 yards came by virtue of a Santa Ana personal foul penalty. Williams capped the drive with a 12-yard scoring run that finally got Pasadena on the board. But that was the extent of the Pasadena offense on the night, and the game's outcome was already decided.
Santa Ana added another touchdown when the Dons got the ball back again, pushing their lead to 50-7 and scoring the game's final points. Royden Nabarro scored on a 4-yard run, capping an 8-play drive on which he had carried 6 times for 36 yards. And late in the fourth quarter, the Dons' Curtis Gladden attempted a short field goal. But a low snap doomed that attempt, and Pasadena's Brandon Garrett blocked the kick while being pushed backwards through the line.
For Santa Ana, Morales completed 8 of 14 passes for 177 yards and 2 TDs. Igarta led SA rushers with 58 yards and a TD on 7 carries; he also caught 2 passes, including a 37-yard TD pass, and returned a free kick for 41 yards. Rabb had a pair of catches, including a TD; Clemons had SA's other TD catch. And Buehler did a bit of everything: he scored on a pair of rushing attempts, he managed a pass interception on defense, and he kicked 5 touchbacks on 8 attempts (including 3 through the goal posts – after personal foul penalties on Pasadena had moved the kickoff to the 50 each time).
For Pasadena, the struggles continue. Since being in the running for the Southern California championships in 2001 and 2002, the Lancers are just 4-21. The passing game accounted for just 1 completion (for 22 yards) and 2 interceptions. And the mistakes on the punting team put the Lancers in an early hole they never got out of. Williams was one of the few bright spots, finishing with 144 yards on the ground and Pasadena's only touchdown.
SA – Buehler 7 yd run (Gladden kick) 10:53 -- 7-0
SA – Buehler 25 yd run (Gladden kick) 3:49 -- 14-0
SA – Safety – blocked punt out of end zone 2:14 -- 16-0
SA – Merrifield 8 yd run (Gladden kick) 1:51 -- 23-0
SA – Igarta 7 yd run (Gladden kick) 12:00 -- 30-0
SA – Clemons 30 yd pass from Morales (Gladden kick) 2:32 -- 37-0
SA – Igarta 37 yd pass from Morales (kick hit right post) 0:22 -- 43-0
P – Williams 12 yd rn (Reyes kick) 12:19 -- 43-7
SA – Nabarro 4 yd run (Gladden kick) 7:51 -- 50-7
|Team Statistics:||Pasadena||Santa Ana|
|First Downs||19 (16 rush; 1 pass; 2 penalty)||20 (9 rush; 9 pass; 2 penalty)|
|Rushes – Yards||55-195||32-156|
|Comp - Att – Int||1-9-2||10-19-0|
|Sacks – Yards||3-18||4-38|
|Fumbles – Lost||2-1||1-0|
|Penalties – Yards||9-102||4-50|
|Time of Possession||35:29||24:31|
Rushing: P: 1-Williams 26-144, 20-Pollard 6-60, 12-Glaspy 10-54, 27-Gahagan 5-14, 14-Trites 1-(-5), 10-Celis 6-(-42), team 1-(-30) SA: 6-Igarta 7-57, 39-Nabarro 6-36, 43-Buehler 2-32, 3-Merrifield 5-31, 10-Morales 3-9, 14-Gharineh 6-6, 8-Schoonmaker 3-(-15)
Passing: P: 10-Celis 1-3-0-22; 14-Trites 0-6-2-0 SA: 10-Morales 8-14-0-177, 2 TDs; 8-Schoonmaker 2-5-0-59
Receiving: P: 80-Ayers 1-22 SA: 26-Sakioka 2-53, 1-Rabb 2-52, 6-Igarta 2-31, 80-Williams 1-49, 5-Clemons 1-30, 7-Edwards 1-11, 19-Hammond 1-10
Int-Ret Yds: P: none SA: 15-Mitani 1-33, 43-Buehler 1-13
Fum Rec: P: none SA: 56-Collett 1-0
Sacks: P: 52-Sartin, 54-McNeill, 53-Garrett ½, 94-Brunston ½ SA: 11-Dedic, 22-Mair, 51-Swanson, 55-Rojo
Punters: P: 40-De La Mora 5-34.8 avg + 1 blk SA: 9-Gladden 4-37.8 avg
Kick Ret: P: 5-Herb.Martin 2-36, 81-Pratt 1-21 SA: 6-Igarta 1-41, 12-Terry 1-19
Punt Ret: P: 2-Vaughns 1-19 SA: 40-Vega 1-15, 21-Robinson 1-0
Missed FG: P: none SA: 9-Gladden (blocked by 53-Garrett)
Ejection: P: 77-West (kicking) SA: none
Notes: Santa Ana is now 4-1, and entered ranked #5 in the South; Pasadena falls to 1-4. Vega blocked the punt; that's his punt return. Dedic's sack caused the fumble that Collett recovered. Celis started at QB for PCC; Morales started for SA. SA's 2nd and 4th TDs came on 4th down plays. SA's 1st TD came 1 play after the bad snap on PCC's 1st punt attempt; SA got the ball at the PCC 6.