Orange Lutheran stays grounded, reaches second round


VENTURA – Some teams need to drop back and sling the ball 50 times to score the number of points that Orange Lutheran did Friday night.

The Lancers completed just five passes, but the fun came when the offensive line started flexing its muscle in the ground game.

The Lancers had three rushers eclipse the 100-yard mark and another top 90 to lead the way in a 54-44 victory over St. Bonaventure of Ventura in a first-round CIF-SS Pac-5 game at Ventura College.

The Lancers (6-5) will host top-seeded Centennial of Corona in the second round. The teams faced each other Sept. 11, with Centennial winning, 35-14.

“We wanted to pound the rock,” lineman Logan Bathke said. “We have great backs, we knew we were bigger coming in and we were quicker, faster and more agile and we just wanted to pound it inside.”

Dominik Austin led the Lancers with 118 yards, Brandon McKinney gained 110, Lj Northington 104 and Markell Quinn 92. The Lancers scored seven of their eight touchdowns on the ground. With Malone Mataele’s 65, the Lancers rushed for 489 yards.

That’s a successful night for the offensive line of Bathke, Josh Bultsma, Adam Heigis, Alex Dalpe and Lino Vaccher.

“We want to create the biggest holes that we can for our running backs,” Heigis said. “Make sure they have running room and get into the end zone.”

The Lancers needed the contributions from the running attack because St. Bonaventure (7-4) proved to be stubborn, led by senior Darius Vines.

The Seraphs trailed 54-30 with 6:27 left, but scored two touchdowns to get within 10 before the Lancers could finally exhale and celebrate the victory.

Vines passed for 436 yards and ran for 133 for the Seraphs.

“We had a decided advantage up front and they don’t see the offense very often,” Orange Lutheran coach Chuck Petersen said. “I felt like if we could do the things in the option game that we were capable of doing, they would have a hard time defending us and that proved to be true.”

“Success is when we get in the end zone and we were fortunate to do that tonight.”

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