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Katella quarterback Nathan Arrington is stopped in an attempt run against Santa Ana Valley at Glover Stadium in Anaheim on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. (MICHAEL ARES, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER)

Katella scores 70 points to top SA Valley in Orange League clash

STAFF WRITER

ANAHEIM – Katella and Santa Ana Valley’s offenses quickly made up Thursday for their low-scoring showing last season.

They needed less than five minutes of the first quarter to surpass their 2015 output, and they were just getting warmed up.

Katella quarterback Nathan Arrington passed for 338 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for a score as the Knights took sole possession of first place in the Orange League with a 70-40 win at Glover Stadium.

“It was a track meet,” Katella coach Fred DiPalma said. “It was unbelievable. ... Our defense (had) major breakdowns. Valley is very good and it was our night to win.”

Last season, Katella edged Valley, 8-6, en route to its second straight league title.

But in extending their league winning streak to 15 games, the Knights (8-0, 3-0) – ranked No. 1 in Division 11 – racked up 645 yards of offense and scored on their first eight possessions.

Santa Ana Valley (4-4, 2-1) piled up 493 yards to give the teams a combined 1,138 yards offense.

Valley running back Chris Hernandez, playing with an injured hand, rushed for 158 yards, including four TDs, while his quarterback Sherman Thomas rushed for 107 yards and two TDs and passed for 223.

Valley's output marks the most points scored against Katella this season.

"We did very well offensively," Santa Ana Valley coach Larry Mohr said. "Disappointed in our defense. ... We're not that bad."

Katella wide receiver James Faitasia had all six of his receptions in the first half, finishing with 177 yards, including TDs of 33 and 40 yards.

Knights running back Francisco Pineda rushed for 156 yards and two TDs in the first half, which finished with Katella up, 56-27.

The offensive explosion started quickly.

Faitasia caught a 33-yard TD catch from Arrington on Katella’s fourth play from scrimmage.

Santa Ana Valley responded by driving 72 yards for a 4-yard TD run by Hernandez.

The score was tied again, 14-14, before Pineda broke a 61-yard TD run with 4:54 left in the opening quarter.

Katella’s Enrique Delgado recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff return and the Knights capitalized with a 1-yard TD run by Rafael Martinez to open a 28-14 lead with 3:06 left in the opening quarter.

Katella used a trick play to setup the score. The Knights faked a punt from the Valley 35 with Arrington completing a 34-yard pass to Faitasia for a near-touchdown.

Arrington guided Katella to scores on all eight of its first-half possessions. The junior finished 15 of 16 in the first half for 303 yards. For the game, he completed 16 of 20 passes.

Katella scored twice off Santa Ana Valley fumbles. Faitasia made a one-handed catch and juggling grab to highlight his half.

"He's legit," DiPalma said of Faitasia.

Contact the writer: dalbano@scng.com


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