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SANTEE (10-11-19) – All week long many people were not giving the home team Santana Sultans any kind of chance at all despite being undefeated. Who could blame them though because it had been seven years going back to 2011 when the Santana Sultans could lay claim to victory over their inner-city rival.

Despite the computer rankings making the Sultans the heavy favorites entering the game, the Wolf Pack was not a team to be taken lightly as they had defeated a high scoring El Capitan Vaqueros squad a couple of weeks prior with an outstanding defensive game plan.

Now the rivalry wasn’t only to be played out on the football field but for the first time would take place at the local Chick-Fil-A who has really become an integral part of the Santee community allowed both schools to decorate the restaurant and on separate days get people to eat at the venue and raise monies and whoever raised the most was the victor of the fundraising battle.

On Tuesday it was Santana’s day at Chick-Fil-A and all day long it was jammed packed nonstop and the next day on Wednesday it was West Hill’s turn.

This contest and festivities on both campuses would lead to the big game on Friday night for the thirtieth edition of the rivalry that started back in 1989 when West Hills opened on the West End of Santee.

Prior to the contest, Santana head football coach Tim Estes was honored as the Los Angeles Chargers football coach of the week an honor he won for the previous week. In being named this he was awarded a check for $1000 which will go towards the Athletics Department.

With all the pregame hoopla over, the main event was about to start and right away the fireworks exploded. On the opening kickoff Brooks Moutaw who tallied 242 total yards of offense on the night fielded the kickoff at the three-yard line in which he followed his blockers and weaved his way through the defenders down the sideline all the way to the house for a 97-yard score bringing the Sultan faithful to their feet screaming and also a 7-0 lead.

The 97-yard return by Moutaw tied him for third in school history with Ryan Browning who returned one back in 2012 against El Cajon Valley.

Now with the momentum, the Sultans were in business but West Hills would answer later in the first quarter after they picked off an errant pass by Nathan Temple.

The Wolf Pack would score with 5:26 remaining in the first quarter when Kole Klingerman would haul in a pass and race his way to the house for the 40-yard score. Unfortunately, the extra point kick would fail thus making the score 7-6.

Santana would get the ball back and drive down the field before the first quarter ended. Now with the ball on the 1-yard line, the Sultans knew they had to punch it in.

Temple went under center and decided to keep it himself and it was a success as he punched it in from 1 yard out to extend the lead to 14-6.

For the rest of the first half, the game became a stalemate as both teams went back and forth but couldn’t take advantage of anything.

Santana would take a 14-6 lead into halftime.

Neither team offensively could do anything in the third quarter as again the defenses came up big time to keep the other off the scoreboard despite a couple of opportunities.

One of the opportunities that the Wolf Pack wished they could have back would have brought them within 14-9 but unfortunately the field goal attempt doinked off the left upright thus giving the ball back to Santana.

Even still despite the missed field goal the fourth quarter gave West Hills optimism as they knew they were in a position to make a possible comeback if the Sultans were to make a mistake.

But with 9:39 in the fourth quarter after driving down the field the Sultans were able to give themselves a cushion thanks to Moutaw who scampered in from 2 yards out for his second touchdown of the game and a 21-6 lead.

West Hills on their next possession, unfortunately, couldn’t answer as the Sultans defense completely smothered them and forced a punt that didn’t go very far.

Santana would extend their lead even further courtesy of a Dawud Saddler 8 yard rumble into the end zone to make it 27-6 as the extra point failed.

The Wolf Pack would score again to pull within 27-13 and they would actually have another chance to pull within even more but the Sultans defense came up huge with the stop on the pass into the end zone thus forcing a turnover on downs.

Moutaw for the Sultans on the night ran for almost 100 yards finishing with 94 yards on the ground.

Temple on the night passed for 110 yards and was kept out of the end zone for the first time this season but he was still able to get the ball to his favorite target Randall Smith who caught 8 passes for 82 yards.

On the defensive side of the ball, Luke Simanek tallied 6 tackles and a big sack late in the game, Saddler had 2 sacks, Cameron LaRiccia had 6 tackles.

With the loss, the Wolf Pack falls to 4-3 and 1-1 in league play while the Santana Sultans continue their best season in 7 years and improve to 8-0 and 2-0.  Not only are the Sultans still undefeated they also procure the “Mayor’s Cup Trophy” for the first time in 7 years.

West Hills next week will travel to take on a non-league opponent in the Escondido Cougars while the Sultans will travel to Spring Valley to take on the Monte Vista Monarchs.


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