Santa Ana beats Orange, earns second consecutive playoff berth


ORANGE – With his 2004 Fiesta Bowl championship ring on his right hand, Santa Ana coach Charlie TeGantvoort carries with him a reminder of what he has done and what he intends to do: win.

When TeGantvoort, who was a member of the undefeated 2004 Utah team, took over Santa Ana last season, the Saints had won one game in five seasons. Now, the Saints (8-2, 3-2) have clinched a spot in the playoffs for the second year in a row, rolling over Orange, 42-7, on Friday.

“It’s always about doing better than what you’ve done,” TeGantvoort said. “It’s not about what we did, it’s about what we’re going to do.”

The Panthers scored on the first drive of the game, when Kamron Craig took the ball off-tackle on the left side to score from the three.

The Panthers (4-6, 1-4) held their lead until the final minute of the half before Uhila Takataka took a dive up the middle 8 yards for a score.

The Saints dominated the second half, however, scoring three touchdowns on six plays to start the half and scoring on their first five possessions. They ran out the clock on the sixth.

Third-string quarterback Pablo Aguirre missed on all four of his pass attempts, but rushed for 157 yards and a score. Running back Jonathan Briseno rushed for 196 yards and four touchdowns.

As for if TeGantvoort’s winning pedigree helps him get a downtrodden program to buy in, “It doesn’t hurt when you can put a couple of rings on your finger.”

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