After the Dana Hills football team won against Irvine High School on Friday, Sept. 20, the team kept their historic win streak alive. Their record on the season is now 5-0, the first time in school history.
At the Honor the Valor game with many proud military veterans in attendance, the team overcame a seven-point deficit to defeat the Laguna Beach Breakers on Friday, Sept. 13 with a score of 10-7, extending their win streak to four games. Over the past few years, the football team has struggled to win games. However, with much success thus far, many agree with senior Liam Boersma that the game was a “turning point” for the team and its attempt to break previous seasons’ records.
Against the Breakers, the team ran the ball well, accumulating 123 yards on the ground. Senior Tristan Vanderline rushed for 95 of those yards on only 19 carries, averaging five yards per rush.
Junior wide-receiver Noah Simpson had another great performance and gathered 88 receiving yards on six receptions. Despite his production on the field, the highlight of the game took place in the third quarter when junior Kellen McGrath caught a beautiful 35-yard touchdown pass, Dana’s only touchdown of the game. The crowd was ecstatic at the sight of the catch, giving the team significant momentum going into the fourth quarter.
On Thursday, Sept. 5, the team traveled to Segerstrom High School and faced their third opponent of the season, Saddleback High School.
Coming off a two-game win streak, the football team hoped to extend their success on the field. The team began the game a bit nostalgic, lacking a spark; however, after stopping Saddleback on third down, Boersma blocked the punt, giving the team momentum. They finished the half with 38 unanswered points, a true offensive domination. They kept their foot on the gas throughout the second half, eventually defeating Saddleback 51-7. In his first start, sophomore quarterback Bo Kelly threw for 272 yards and four touchdown passes, demonstrating not only his passing ability, but great potential moving forward. On the defensive side of the ball, Boersma had another big game, obtaining 4 tackles-for-loss, including 2 sacks.
In an overtime thriller, Dana Hills defeated Northwood 35-28. After Dana led by 28-7 entering the fourth quarter, Northwood went on a 21-0 run, tying the game at 28 apiece. With seconds left on the clock, Northwood only needed a PAT to win. However, Dana blocked the extra point, sending the game to overtime where sophomore James Allemann would score the game-winning touchdown.
Beginning their training in Jan., the team had heavily prepared for the 2019 season. After winning their first game of the season 27-7 against Los Amigos on Friday, Aug. 23, Dana clearly demonstrated that their hard work did in fact pay off. Beginning his final season on a high note, senior quarterback Zack Saavedra threw three touchdown passes to wide-receivers Jake Georgia, James Allemann and Noah Simpsom. Gartlan had himself a game on both sides of the field, scoring a 28-yard rushing touchdown on offense and accumulating a sack and an interception on defense.
On top of Gartlan’s defensive efforts, the team finished with eight sacks, demonstrating strength and efficiency from their defensive line.