Santa Fe Christian wins Coastal League by routing OG

Eagles improve to 9-0, win league title with big first half at Orange Glen


In what was supposed to be a meeting of different offensive philosophies, a game turned into a rout in the first half.

Santa Fe Christian, which prefers to control the tempo with its wing-T running offense, did just that.

But the Eagles’ defense kept Orange Glen’s high-powered passing attack at bay the entire game and harassed quarterback Dennis Andrew with six sacks in a 50-14 victory Friday night to spoil Orange Glen’s Senior Night by winning the Coastal League championship.

It’s the Eagles’ first league crown since 2016.

“We thought we’d be 8-2 this season, but once we got past three teams there was a glimmer of how good we can be,’’ Eagles’ coach Jon Wallace said. “The kids were sharp all week because they did not want a repeat of last spring’s game against OG.’’

Santa Fe Christian outlasted Orange Glen 81-54 in the spring season.

Thanks to five first-half quarterback sacks, Santa Fe Christian, the No. 8-ranked team in the San Diego Section which is now 9-0 overall and 5-0 in league play, was breezing 50-7 by halftime.

Quarterback Thomas Greupner, who had three TD passes in the 81-54 win over Orange Glen in the coronavirus-shortened spring season, started the scoring with a pair of TD tosses to Zachary Marshall.

Marshall also returned an interception 45 yards for a TD as well.

“It is great to be league champs,’’ Greupner said. “This was one of our goals this year — win Coastal, win CIF and whatever comes after that.

“Our guys all came out to play tonight. We thought they could score, but we thought we could score more.

“We’re even scarier because of what our guys are doing now on defense.’’

Colton Lehberg, who also kicked six conversions, rushed for a pair of touchdowns in the first half and Matthew Sanford and Dante Rotchford also ran for scores before intermission.

The defense did the rest, forcing Orange Glen into a passing game by narrowing its receiving corps to just Malachi Keels, who caught seven passes for 143 yards and the final touchdown of the game.

“I was all nervous coming into the game,’’ said freshman defensive end Nate Clifford, who had three of the Eagles’ six sacks. “After the second play when I sacked the quarterback, I calmed down a lot.

“I wasn’t nervous the rest of the night.’’

Santa Fe Christian collected 319 total yards in the first half while the defense throttled the Patriots, who gained just 18 total yards.

The Eagles, who own a 6-1 edge over Orange Glen (5-3, 4-1) in the series, have outscored opponents 369-122 this season.

Santa Fe Christian concludes the regular season next week against Tri-City Christian.

Orange Glen was looking for its first league championship since 1995 when the Patriots were 10-2 overall and 7-0 in the Palomar League for coach Rob Gilster.

Monahan is a freelance writer.

Coastal League

Santa Fe Christian 50, Orange Glen 14

Santa Fe Christian 21 29 0 0 — 50

Orange Glen 7 0 0 7 — 14

SFC Marshall 50 pass from Greupner (Lehberg kick)

SFC Marshall 23 pass from Greupner (Lehberg kick)

OG Castro 19 pass from Andrew (Reyes kick)

SFC Lehberg 3 run (Lehberg kick)

SFC Lehberg 9 run (Lehberg kick)

SFC Sanford 16 run (Lehberg kick)

SFC Rotchford 8 run (Lehberg kick)

SFC Marshall 45 interception return (Greupner pass to Rotchford)

OG Keels 42 pass from Andrew (Reyes kick)