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SFC defense has no plans to get bowled over

12/11/2012, 9:46pm PST
By John Maffei

Pound for pound, it’s the Eagles who usually deliver the pounding

Santa Fe Christian defenders Hakon Bream (from left), Dominic Burtech and Darrian Borboa face a challenge in Central Catholic’s big offensive line.


— On paper, on film, on the field, the Modesto Central Catholic High football team is impressive.

The Raiders are 13-2 overall and have won 11 games in a row. They average 49.1 points a game and have scored more than 70 points in one game, 60 or more in five others, 50 or more in two others, 40 or more in three others.

The season-low is 30.

They have a dynamic pair of runnings backs. Ray Lomas has 219 carries for 1,901 yards and 31 touchdowns. Rey Vega has 113 carries for 1,322 yards and 24 TDs in nine games. The team averages 8.9 yards a rush with 71 rushing TDs.

Quarterback Garrett Ardis has thrown for 1,553 yards and 19 TDs.

And 6-foot-5 tight end Johnny Mundt has made a verbal commitment to play at Oregon.

Friday afternoon at 4, Central Catholic will test the Santa Fe Christian defense at the Home Depot Center in Carson in the Division IV State Football Championship Bowl.

And the job of stopping the Raiders’ offensive machine falls to SFC defensive coordinator Dan Egan.

“They’re really good,” Egan said. “They have two great backs. They’re legit. One is a physical power-type guy. One is a speed guy. The tight end is all-world.

“On film, they’re all they’re cracked up to be. But this is a state championship game. We didn’t think it was going to be easy.”

Santa Fe Christian is 11-3, has won eight games in a row and has allowed 216 points, an average of 15.4 a game.

Junior middle linebacker Darrian Borboa leads SFC in tackles with a total of 131 — 48 solos. He knows he’s going to have his work cut out on Friday.

“I’ve got to get off blocks,” Borboa said. “And we all have to be sure tacklers. We can’t let those backs get more than they’re going to get.”

Egan calls Borboa a “nose-for-the-ball type. A pure tackler.”

Defensive tackle Dominic Burtech, SFC’s biggest player at 6-feet-3, 240 pounds, said the Raiders remind him of La Jolla Country Day, a team that boasts two huge offensive linemen — Marcos Scavuzzo (6-7, 255) and USC-bound Jordan Poland (6-8, 335).

The Eagles beat the Torreys 37-6.

“Central Catholic is big up front and has some speed, just like La Jolla Country Day,” said Burtech, who has drawn interest from USD and Chapman.

“We made some mistakes last week (in a 30-28 win over Rio Hondo Prep in the Southern California Regional final). We played kind of stupid, got burned on some trick plays.

“That was the players’ fault. We can’t play stupid against these guys.”

Egan said Burtech is the team’s best lineman on both sides of the ball. A basketball player, too, he has great agility.

“He’s tough as nails,” Egan said. “He’s a tremendous run stopper, who is fundamentally sound and has great lateral movement.”

Defensive back Hakon Bream said he felt Santa Fe Christian coming together during the La Jolla Country Day game.

“We lost a lot of really good seniors off last year’s team, so we didn’t know how this season would unfold,” Bream said. “Then in that La Jolla Country Day game (Oct. 20), the seniors took over. And we’ve been going good ever since. Can we shut them down? I hope so, but that’s why you play the game.”

Egan said Bream is a “pure athlete, who adds some toughness. He can run and jump with anybody. He’s just really dependable.”

Santa Fe Christian features multiple defenses.

They run some of San Diego State’s 3-3-5. And they will run some Bear, a five-man front popularized by the Chicago Bears.

“By Week 16, we’ve seen every defense you can think of,” said Central Catholic coach Roger Canepa. “Santa Fe Christian plays great team defense. That 3-3-5 is popular in San Diego, not so much up here.”

Egan said Central Catholic is an I-formation team, a team that runs a lot of isolation plays.

And the Raiders will play power football.

“We aren’t going to make a lot of changes in what we do defensively,” Egan said. “We don’t want to outthink ourselves, but we will adapt to the offense.

“Last week against Rio Hondo, we played a team that liked to get outside, get to the perimeter. So we adjusted. Central Catholic does a little of both, going inside and out.

“Will we go toe-to-toe with them? No. That’s not going to happen. But our guys are disciplined. They read their keys well. And they run to the ball.

“Honestly, we’re not going to reinvent ourselves for this game.”


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