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High School Football: Eagles hang on

Estancia makes big defensive plays at end, edging Sonora in final nonleague tuneup.

October 04, 2013|By Matt Szabo

Strong winds from the east blew plenty of dust through the air at Jim Scott Stadium on Friday night. It came from across Placentia Avenue, at the train station parking lot.

You could call the Estancia High football team's nonleague game against Sonora the Dust Bowl. At times, the play on the field wasn't much prettier.

The Eagles will surely take the result, though.

Senior Zack Shafer caused a key fumble late and junior Devon Jackson made a key interception in the final minute, as Estancia hung on for an impressive 19-14 nonleague victory in its final tuneup before the Orange Coast League opener, the Battle for the Bell game on Oct. 11.

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Costa Mesa's players, on a bye, watched Friday's game from the home bleachers. They saw a gutsy win for the Eagles (2-3), who were able to avoid a three-game losing streak heading into league.

"If we want to be able to make the playoffs and go deep, you've got to play these guys," Estancia Coach Mike Bargas said. "It'll be nice to just come off this win and get ready for Costa Mesa. Like I told the kids, our most important game was Sonora. Everything else is a sidebar. We can't look past every week. Our most important game last week was University, we just did Sonora and now our most important game is going to be the first league game ... Now our most important game is Costa Mesa High School. It's not the end-all game, but it's the most important one because it's the next game we have."

Both teams were able to move the ball effectively but saw several drives stall deep in the opponent's territory. Neither team was able to score at all after Sonora senior Jamaal Anderson's 71-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage in the second half.

But the Eagles made those defensive plays late against Sonora (1-4), which was driving late in the fourth quarter. But on fourth-and-goal from the six-yard line, Shafer was able to strip the ball from the running back, and senior end Arturo Ortega recovered it with less than four minutes to go.

"[Defensive coordinator Chris Bargas] called a really good blitz on that," Shafer said. "The team went through the gap, and I went straight into the guy's hand with my helmet and popped the ball out.

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