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Santa Ana's Jorge Briseno eludes Laguna Beach defense and scores late in the first half of their CIF semifinal game. (Photo by Michael Kitada, Contributing Photographer)

Fryer: Santa Ana hopes Brisenos have one last answer

STAFF COLUMNIST

SANTA ANA – The Briseno twins. Those two guys are too much.

Jonathan and Jorge Briseno had another great night for Santa Ana’s football team as the Saints crushed Laguna Beach, 66-27, Friday in a CIF Southern Section Division 13 semifinal at Santa Ana Stadium. Jorge rushed for 204 yards and five touchdowns. Jonathan had a 52-yard TD reception and, blitzing from his cornerback spot , had two sacks.

As friendly and helpful as Santa Ana coach Charlie TeGantvoort is, if you really want to know what’s going on with Santa Ana football you need to find the Briseno brothers. Heck, if you want to know what’s happening in Orange County football, the Brisenos are the source.

They know about every football team in Orange County. They know who beat who last week, who the best players are in every league, who transferred, who’s going to transfer and more.

If ever there is an “Orange County Football” category on “Jeopardy!” the Brisenos would dominate.

We kept the conversation to Santa Ana football after Friday’s game.

“(Jesus) Viera, he’s my center,” Jorge said of the senior offensive lineman. “I’ve got to give it all to him.”

What about Kevin Cea, Santa Ana’s 5-foot-7, 245-pound nose tackle?

“He comes from a family of Marines,” Jonathan said. “He’s a little, small guy but he’s tough.”

The Brisenos also wanted to promote Saints running back Allen Pacheco, 5-9 and 165, who pushed the pile and power-drove over tacklers for 142 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. The Brisenos are equally impressed by Pacheco’s musical talent.

“He’s a really good guitar player,” Jorge said. “He plays in a mariachi band. If something’s going on down Fourth Street (a center of activity in downtown Santa Ana), he’ll be playing there.”

It could not have been predicted three years ago that the Saints would be where they are now, heading to a CIF-SS championship game. From 2010 to ’13, Santa Ana was 1-39.

Now, the Saints are undefeated. They have won three playoff games after going 27 years without a playoff win. Santa Ana is in a championship game for the first time in 30 years.

“Now,” TeGantvoort said, “it’s time to take that last step.”

How to take that last step? Just ask the Brisenos.

Elsewhere under the lights …

• Santa Ana went into the playoffs as Division 13’s top-seeded team. Seedings mean little after the first round because there is no advantage to it. The Santa Ana-Rancho Christian of Temecula Division 13 final is a Rancho Christian home game because Rancho Christian has had fewer playoff home games.

• Rancho Christian’s coach is Jim Kunau. Kunau coached for many years at Orange Lutheran, which he raised from a good small-schools program to one that succeeded at the highest level of California football. He also coached one season at Canyon.

• Coaches and athletic directors might have had solid information about where and when their teams would play in the CIF-SS finals. The CIF-SS office will announce those specifics today.

• Other than the Division 1 game at Angel Stadium next Saturday, sites of the other games were not verified Friday night. Home teams from finals in Divisions 2-13 select the sites for their CIF-SS championship games. The CIF-SS must approve the sites and generally does so.

• Capistrano Valley and Yorba Linda are home teams in their finals next week. Capistrano Valley is home against Calabasas in Division 5; and Yorba Linda is home against Burbank in Division 8.

• Mater Dei is the home team against St. John Bosco. That game is at Angel Stadium, so there is not much of a home field advantage for a game there. However, the Big A is a familiar place to Mater Dei football. The Monarchs have played in eight CIF-SS championship football finals there, along with two semifinal playoff games are a few games against Servite have been played here.

Contact the writer: sfryer@scng.com


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