Orange improves to 3-0 by rolling over Santiago


GARDEN GROVE – Through three games, Orange’s football team has been punishing up front.

The Panthers’ running game continued to roll behind its offensive line, as Orange spoiled Santiago’s home opener, 49-13, Thursday in a nonleague game at Garden Grove High.

Quarterback Miguel Orendain had 206 total yards (73 rushing) and three touchdowns. Aaron Murray had a game-high 80 rushing yards and a touchdown. Nathan Howard added two rushing scores.

Despite a running-back-by-committee approach, Orange (3-0) has been able to dominate games with stellar blocking from Julian Morariu, Cody Remigio, Noah Tiliaia-Faletoi, Juan Medrano, and Keanu Tongilava. Four of the five are seniors.

“Our big boys up front are doing what they’re supposed to do,” Panthers coach Robert Pedroza said. “Every day in practice, they’re our heart and soul. They lead us.”

Five running backs had at least 40 rushing yards for the Panthers, who outrushed Santiago, 320-126.

The Panthers last had a winning season in 2013. Tiliaia-Faletoi says the team is taking their good start in stride.

“The confidence level is very high, but right now we’re just trying to stay humble,” the senior offensive tackle said. “It’s a blessing to be 3-0.”

Jacob Tuua-Burch and Brandon Warren caught touchdowns of 54 and 36 yards, respectively. Luis Correa had a 3-yard rush TD, and Jordan Schmidt snared his fourth interception in two games.

The Panthers had not been scored on this season before Darwin Lira scored at the 3:38 mark of the first quarter for Santiago (1-2).

Jesus Arcos added an 11-yard rushing score late in the fourth quarter.

Orange has outscored opponents, 131-13, in its three games.

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