Beckman's Jake Groves dives for extra yardage in front of Santa Ana Valley's Oscar Sanchez during the first half of their football game at Tustin High Thursday night.

Offensive line clears the way for Beckman


TUSTIN – - For starters, this one went well for everyone associated with the Beckman football program.

Beckman, under new coach Marcello Giuliano, used all facets of its attack, leading to a 29-14 season-opening victory over visiting Santa Ana Valley on Thursday at Tustin High.

I’Jon Akahi rushed for 165 yards and two touchdowns, including a 90-yard run in the second quarter to help lead the Patriots.

Akahi, a junior, gave credit to the big guys up front.

“I love my O-line,” Akahi said. “It was holes everywhere. You could drive trucks through them. I couldn’t be any more proud.”

Jett Zeimantz, Daniel Stringfellow, Arya Roessler, Greg Matt and Trent Rasmussen help the Patriots rush for nearly 260 yards in the victory.

“I thought they played very well,” Giuliano said of the front. “Like I said in the paper, we needed to build on the line in our preseason stuff and they definitely came out and played very well.

“We got great effort from everybody. You can’t run for that many yards without blocking on the outside, the quarterback doing his job. It was definitely a team effort.”

The Patriots led 19-0 at halftime. Liam Molina booted a 22-yard field goal midway through the third quarter and Akahi scored from 10 yards out to put the Patriots in firm control of the game.

“We had a lot of things happen that are first games and we have a lot of improving to do, but it was a dynamite performance,” Giuliano said. “I thought the defense played really well and if you play good defense and you run the ball well, you have a pretty good chance at winning some games.”

One of those standouts on the defensive end was Justin Cheng. Cheng had an interception that set up Akahi’s second touchdown and he also had a fumble recovery.

Demetrius Goods, who opened the scoring by catching a 5-yard touchdown pass from Dean Nagle in the first quarter, also had an interception.

The Falcons (0-1-1) began their season last week with an 8-8 tie against Segerstrom. The Falcons got on the board in the fourth quarter, first on a 3-yard run from Chris Hernandez and later on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Eric Lares to Juan Romero.

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