Santa Ana scores in final seconds to edge SA Valley


SANTA ANA – Jonathan Briseno caught a 13-yard touchdown pass with six seconds left in the game to lift undefeated Santa Ana to a thrilling 25-20 victory over city rival Santa Ana Valley on Friday night in a nonleague game at Santa Ana Valley High.

Santa Ana (4-0) outscored the Falcons, 19-0, in the final 12 minutes after trailing 20-6 at halftime.

“We just wanted to give everybody their money’s worth,” joked Saints coach Charlie TeGantvoort. “This was a great victory by our kids.”

Briseno’s touchdown capped an eight-play, 52-yard drive that was aided by a pass interference call that gave the ball to the Saints at the Falcons 13. Quarterback Damian Macias then tossed a perfect throw to Briseno on a fade pattern to the back of the end zone for the game-winner.

“He couldn’t have thrown it any better,” said Briseno, who, in his first game of the season after missing the team’s first three games with a shoulder injury, rushed for a team-high 123 yards and caught three passes for 59 more.

“We thought about kicking the field goal, but our snapper was injured. If we didn’t score (on the pass), we would’ve tried a field goal on the next play,” said TeGantvoort.

Trailing 20-6, the Saints – ranked No. 1 in Division 13 – cut the score to 20-12 on a 5-yard touchdown run by Macias with 6:58 left in the game. Macias rushed for 52 yards, and also connected on 9 of 17 passes for 115 yards.

The Falcons (2-3) played a stellar first half thanks in part to the play of quarterback Sherman Thomas, who rushed for a game-high 148 yards and a touchdown, and also completed 9-of-17 passes for 92 yards.

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