Santiago grinds out victory over Costa Mesa


COSTA MESA - Santiago crushed Costa Mesa, 21-9, in a nonleague game Friday for its first victory of the season.

As the game began at Costa Mesa's new football complex, it became clear the game was going to be all about who could penetrate the other team's tough defensive line.

Things heated up in the third quarter, as Santiago receiver Dominic Smith-Dotson returned the kickoff 75 yards for the second touchdown of the game.

Costa Mesa answered with a series of short rushes by running back Cody Merrifield that led to Costa Mesa'sr only touchdown of the night.

Santiago’s Rudy Rocha intercepted Costa Mesa pass and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown in the fourth.

Neither team seemed to gain any traction in the first half.

Costa Mesa struggled most of all against Santiago’s tight defense. The Mustangs added to their troubles with with three turnovers and a safety.

In the end, this was all in line with Santiago’s game plan.

Said assistant coach James Stewart of the Cavaliers, “Our strategy was to keep our defensive line correct, to keep ourselves controlled and to run the ball.”

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