After winning ten games in a row, teams can only hope to continue their momentum as they enter the high-stakes atmosphere of the playoffs. Many tend to crumble under the pressure, but Saddleback Valley Christian chose differently.
The undefeated Warriors continued their winning ways on Nov. 13, defeating Santa Paula 56-17 in the first round of the CIF-SS East Valley Division Championships.
At the end of the first quarter, the game was still close. Santa Paula resorted to kicking a field goal after marching 75 yards down the field, cutting into a 7-3 Warriors lead with one minute left in the quarter. Three plays later, however, Warriors running back Dalton Lohman broke over the middle for a 56-yard touchdown run and gave SVC a 14-3 lead.
On Santa Paula’s next drive, Warriors cornerback Ryan De Viso laid out for a diving interception to give the home team possession at the visitor’s 29-yard line. SVC’s Cade Henjum lobbed a touchdown pass to receiver David Molina on the Warriors very next play to make it 21-3.
The Warriors continued to dominate Santa Paula from all angles. Lohman, a senior, would rush for 158 yards and freshman Isaac Moreno racked up 42 rushing yards with a touchdown of his own.
Quarterback Cade Henjum recorded a total of five touchdowns on the night–four passing and one from the ground. He completed 15 for 24 passes for 249 yards and added 19 yards rushing.
The Warriors will advance in the CIF-SS East Valley Division’s second round to play crosstown rival St. Margaret’s on Nov. 20. The game will serve as a re-match of last year’s East Valley Division semifinals. St. Margaret’s went on to win the game and the CIF-SS title.