Segerstrom holds off Saddleback


SANTA ANA – Segerstrom defeated Saddleback, 35-20, in the first round of the CIF-SS Southern Division playoffs at Segerstrom on Friday.

The Jaguars (8-2-1), who won the Golden West League, will face El Modena (7-4) in the second round. El Modena defeated Rancho Alamitos, 35-10, Friday.

Segerstrom got off to a slow start when a tipped pass was intercepted by Roadrunners junior defensive back Jacob Jimenez, who sped 70 yards to the end zone, giving Saddleback a 7-0 lead.

The Jaguars dominated the first half from that point on, however, taking a 20-7 lead at halftime.

In the third, they extended their lead to 27-7, but had trouble closing the door on Saddleback (6-5). Segerstrom coach Mike Maceranka attributed that to mistakes by his team.

“We gave them one touchdown on an interception, one touchdown on a blown coverage and another one on a penalty that kept their drive alive,” he said. “Our mistakes are what kept them in this game. ... We have the same problems next week, we’re not going to win.”

In the second half, the Roadrunners needed a push to get back in the game. They looked to junior running back Geovanni Estrada and the lineman in front of him for that push.

Estrada carried the ball 21 times for 95 yards in the second half. He scored twice within two minutes at the end of the third to bring the score to 35-20 and keep Segerstrom from pulling away.

The latter score was set up by a 60-yard catch and run from senior quarterback Osvaldo Zuno to sophomore tight end Marco Navarrete.

Saddleback couldn’t close the gap any further in the fourth as the Segerstrom defense held strong, forcing two turnovers on down.

Senior fullback Gabriel Lopez came up big for the Jaguars with eight runs for 92 yards and one touchdown in the second half.

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