Magnolia beats Katella, earns playoff berth
ANAHEIM - Magnolia senior running back Hector Escobar scored three touchdowns to lead the Sentinels to a 38-30 Orange League victory over host Katella to finish third and qualify for the CIF-SS Southern Division playoffs Friday night at Glover Stadium.
Magnolia (4-6, 3-2), defending Orange League Champions, had never made back-to-back playoff appearances in school history.
“Ah man, elated, elated. I can’t believe it worked out,” second-year Magnolia coach Ryan Olson said. “We needed someone to help us and we needed to come out and play a good second half.”
That someone was Santa Ana Valley, which defeated Savanna, 21-10, in the other Orange League game.
Katella (5-5, 2-3), which hasn’t been in the playoffs since the 2004 season needed to win and get help, scored first on a 1-yard run by senior quarterback Robert Resendez (6 for 19, 1 int., 2 TD).
Katella is in contention for the one at-large berth for the Division.
With the Knights leading at half, 17-10, Magnolia reeled off four consecutive touchdowns in the second half, to take a 38-17 lead.
Senior running back Hector Escobar (15 carries for 109 yards) scored twice on a 23 yard run and a 15-yard interception return to give the Sentinels the lead, which they would not relinquish.
“It feels fantastic,” Escobar said of the victory. “It’s great to be part of (Magnolia) history.”
Magnolia senior quarterback Waseem Akbar was 6 for 13 for 117 yards and a Td, while wide receiver Jerrad Wade caught two passes for 60 yards.
Katella senior running back Blair Jackson carried the ball 21 times for 126 yards and caught a TD pass.