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, NICK AGRO, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Santa Ana's Jonathan Briseno chats with an official after the game against Segerstrom at Santa Ana Stadium.

Fryer: Saints harken to '67 team

STAFF COLUMNIST

SANTA ANA – Santa Ana had gone 5-0 in nonleague and looked like the team to beat in the Golden West League as league play began.

But in the league opener, Santa Ana lost to Orange, 31-29. Early in the following week, Orange had to forfeit the game for using an ineligible player.

Santa Ana’s Jonathan Briseno reacted to that the way people, especially people his age, do these days.

“Wow won by forfeit?” Briseno said on Twitter. “Things happen for a reason.”

Maybe so, and maybe that reason was what happened Friday at Santa Ana Stadium, where the only game involving two undefeated Orange County football teams was played. Santa Ana and Segerstrom went into that game with identical 8-0 overall records and they were tied for first place in the Golden West League.

The Saints scored on their first possession, a 4-yard touchdown run by Briseno’s twin brother, Jorge, and the Saints marched to a 42-6 win over Segerstrom.

Santa Ana (9-0 overall, 4-0 in league) can finish undefeated in the regular season for the first time since 1967. The ’67 Saints, featuring perhaps the best running back in O.C. history, Isaac Curtis, finished 12-1. The loss, 27-6 to Anaheim and its all-time great coach Clare Van Hoorebeke, was the first CIF championship game played at Anaheim Stadium as the big place was still called back then.

Elsewhere under the lights …

• Villa Park has lived up to its preseason status as the best team in the Crestview League. The Spartans beat the league’s second-best team, Yorba Linda, handily, 49-21.

• Mater Dei 58, Servite 16. As figured, Mater Dei is too businesslike to have experienced an emotional letdown after last week’s vital 26-21 win over St. John Bosco.

• Orange Lutheran missed a chance to clinch a guaranteed playoff berth. The Lancers lost to Santa Margarita, 23-7.

• The Trinity League looks like this (league records in parentheses): Mater Dei (4-0); St. John Bosco (3-1); Orange Lutheran (2-2); JSerra (1-3); Santa Margarita (1-3); Servite (1-3). Next Friday: JSerra vs. Mater Dei at Santa Ana Stadium; Orange Lutheran vs. St. John Bosco at Cerritos College; and Servite vs. Santa Margarita at Saddleback College.

• More Trinity information: All Trinity League playoff teams will play in Division 1; Mater Dei is going to be the league’s No. 1 playoff representative; the winner of Orange Lutheran-St. John Bosco will be No. 2; if Orange Lutheran loses and is 2-3 in league, it has head-to-head tiebreaking wins over Servite and JSerra but has that loss to Santa Margarita. JSerra, Orange Lutheran and Santa Margarita have five wins each, meaning they will finish with that .500-or-better record that is the first criteria for being eligible for an at-large berth; Servite, at 4-5, would get to .500 with a win over Santa Margarita on Friday.

• Sam Darnold was a splendid all-around quarterback at San Clemente before Darnold left for USC, where the nation is finding out what we all knew about him. His replacement at San Clemente, Duke-committed Jack Sears was Darnold-like Friday, passing for 238 yards and three touchdowns and running for 87 yards and a touchdown in the Tritons’ 49-14 win over Trabuco Hills.

• San Clemente and Mission Viejo are 3-0 in the South Coast League. They play each other Friday at San Clemente. Of course, I’m picking Mission Viejo to win but San Clemente tends to play particularly well on its home field.

• One of the better movies to watch this time of year is “Frankenstein,” which is about a crazy scientist who brings a dead man back to life. If you’re into that sort of story, check out Calvary Chapel and Valencia. Both teams were 0-5 in nonleague and now they’re pursuing league titles.

• Valencia is in first place in the Empire League creating the biggest upset of Friday night, a 28-20 win over league favorite Tustin. Calvary Chapel is 3-1 in the Orange Coast League, one game behind league-leading Godinez.

•  Back to the Empire League … if, next week, Cypress beats Valencia, and Western beats Tustin, and Pacifica beats Kennedy, then Cypress, Tustin, Valencia and Kennedy would all finish the regular season tied for first place with 3-2 league records. Should that happen, good luck to those schools’ athletic directors sorting it out.

• There will be no such confusion in the North Hills League. Brea Olinda and El Modena, tied for first with 2-0 league records, play each other Friday at Brea Olinda. Winner is the sole league champ.

• Buena Park’s win over La Habra last week was huge. The Coyotes, however, have some work to do. Buena Park, 4-0 in the Freeway League, plays host to Troy (7-2 overall, 3-1 league) on Friday.

Contact the writer: sfryer@scng.com


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