Santiago defeats Costa Mesa in First Round of CIF Playoffs
From OC Varsity – Santiago literally ground out Costa Mesa’s season Friday, calling 50 offensive rushing plays against 11 passing plays to control the clock and seize a 24-6 victory in a first-round CIF-SS Southern Division playoff game at Bolsa Grande High.
Spearheading the Cavaliers attack was Brian Perez, who amassed 203 yards and bookend 41-yard touchdown runs on 24 carries before leaving late because of a knee injury. Julian Martinez’s 34-yard fourth-quarter scoring run iced the game with 1:14 left and gave him 138 yards on 23 carries.
“We wanted to establish the run and get the lead, and once we did, we got conservative and made sure we got the win,” said Santiago Coach Aaron Shahrestani, whose team improved to 9-2 and earned a quarterfinal home game against No. 2 seed La Mirada.
The Cavaliers’ possession advantage minimized the usually potent air attack of Costa Mesa (6-5), although Brian Waldron hauled in 10 passes from Todd Davis for 130 receiving yards in the final game for both seniors.
Josh Erno’s 7-yard scoring run with 3:47 left in the game allowed the Mustangs to avoid being shut out.
By Andy Eiser