The game: The Knights used a powerful ground attack and swarming defense to open a 35-point lead at halftime and cruise to their eight straight victory to open the season. Katella running back Francisco Pineda led Katella's offense by rushing for 191 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries in the clash of first-place teams in the Orange League. The Knights' defense also recorded five sacks and held Anaheim to 137 yards. Katella outrushed Anaheim, 392-89. The Knights' first half was so strong, their two second-half fumbles didn't matter much.
Key to the game: Katella won the battle at the line of scrimmage and held the advantage in the speed department. The Knights' offensive line cleared running lanes for Pineda and four other ball carriers and also helped Katella get the tough yards and convert in the red zone. And while Katella ran the ball well, the combination of quarterback Joseph Vasquez and 6-foot-4 receiver James Fatasia kept Anaheim off balance. Pineda also supplied the speed, deflecting a pass on defense. Leo Ruiz added two sacks. "They have some speed this year," Anaheim coach Lanny Booher said of Katella.
Player of the game: Pineda. The senior has emerged as a dangerous back since loss of standout Randy Furbush to injury.
Key stat: Katella has won four straight in the teams' series but Anaheim still holds a 7-5 advantage.
They said it:“This game was really for him,” Katella two-way lineman Ector Loayza said of Sebastian Damasco, a senior linebacker and running back who was carried off the field in the third quarter with what Coach Fred DiPalma called a neck injury.
What it means: Katella improved to 3-0 in the Orange League, setting up a pivotal game at Santa Ana Valley next week. The Falcons started the season 0-4-1 but have handled Savanna and Century to take a 2-0 record in league into tonight's clash with Magnolia at Western. Katella could essentially wrap up the league crown and perhaps a top-four seed in the Southern Division with a victory against Valley. The Knights close the regular season against Century. They also could tie the school record for most victories a season with No. 9 next week. Anaheim's victory against Magnolia now looms larger. The Colonists can still finish second in the Orange League if they close league with victories against Savanna (at Glover) and Valley (road).