Thomas leads Santa Ana Valley past Saddleback


SANTA ANA – Santa Ana Valley lost a good quarterback when Jason Wilkerson transferred to Villa Park just before the season. But it might have found a capable replacement in senior Sherman Thomas.

Thomas, who spent last year as a wide receiver, ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more in leading the Falcons to a 33-6 victory over city rival Saddleback on Friday night in a nonleague game at Santa Ana Valley High.

Thomas turned in pedestrian-type numbers – eight rushes for 63 yards and six completions for 150 – but he provided a steady presence behind center in guiding the Falcons (1-2) to their first victory.

“We just need to figure out a way to give him an opportunity to make more plays,” Falcons coach Larry Mohr said. “I was very pleased with him and the team tonight.”

Saddleback (0-2), meanwhile, again struggled offensively. The Roadrunners scored just eight points in a loss to Segerstrom last week, and were nearly shut out Friday if not for a 10-yard touchdown reception by Jacob Roa from quarterback Jonathan DeLeon with 2:15 to play.

Thomas played a role in each of Santa Ana Valley’s first three scores.

He first tossed an 11-yard scoring pass to Andres Flores in the first quarter, and then added a thrilling 35-yard touchdown run in the second. And in the third, he found Malcom Wesley for an 85-yard scoring pass that gave the Falcons a commanding 19-0 lead.

Cornerback Kenneth Brito intercepted a DeLeon pass for a 37-yard touchdown, before Thomas completed the scoring after scooping up a fumble and twisting his way to a 10-yard touchdown run with 5:07 left in the game.

Wesley finished with two receptions for 110 yards.

Geovanni Estrada led Saddleback with 63 yards rushing on 15 carries, and Jacob Jimenez added four receptions for 45 yards.

Saddleback committed three turnovers and had 10 penalties for 71 yards.

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