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Sore Friday night for Estancia High

November 08, 2003

Steve Virgen

In general, Estancia High Coach Craig Fertig loves Friday nights

because that's usually when his Eagles play football.

"I've coached pro football, college football, but there's just

something different about Friday nights and high school football,"

Fertig said before his team took on Orange, which is ranked No. 2 in

CIF Southern Section Division VII. "There's just something special in

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the air because you never know what's going to happen."

Rest assured Fertig was not feeling too pleased about this

particular Friday night at El Modena High. Orange (8-1, 5-0 in the

Golden West League) rolled up 365 yards rushing in the first half,

building a 48-0 lead and went on to win by that score, setting itself

up for a matchup for the league title against Westminster next week,

while also dealing the Eagles their second straight shutout.

Estancia has been outscored, 89-0, in two weeks.

"We were embarrassed," Fertig said after his team's final league

game. "In the second half, I was proud of them because they went out

there with intensity."

Estancia (3-6, 1-5) lost its fifth game in a row and was dominated

by the Panthers in the first half. Yet the Eagles somewhat redeemed

themselves in the second half by shutting out Orange and holding the

Panthers to just 54 yards rushing.

However, the Orange running back tandem of Justin Jones and Daniel

Chairez proved to be too much for the Eagles. Chairez gained 175

yards and scored three touchdowns on just six carries, while Jones

had 151 yards and two touchdowns on 13 rushes.

The dangerous duo helped the Panthers achieve their yards-per-game

average and points-per-game average by halftime. Orange entered the

game, averaging 285.6 yards per game and had 390 before the half, and

the Panthers had been averaging 37.6 points per game and had 48.

With five straight losses, the Eagles have also lost their flair

and novelty they owned when they won three of their first four games.

However, Fertig remains satisfied as to what Estancia has achieved

overall, thus far.

"When you win one game in the past two years, it's really hard to

get that winning attitude going and it's still hard," Fertig said.

"But there has been progress. My kids, they'll be all right."

Estancia's offense crossed midfield just twice during the game,

the latter toward the end of the third quarter when the Eagles drove

for 40 yards to reach the Orange 35. But they gave the ball up on

downs. Fertig had a simple explanation for his offense's woes.

"You lose two of your tackles, it's really hard to protect your

quarterback," he said. "We have too many injuries. I looked around

for another lineman to get out there and there was no one there."

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