CM – Orange Lutheran football loses to Cathedral Catholic in scoring CIF SoCal regional final

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COSTA MESA >> Orange Lutheran’s magical postseason run ended on Friday in an offensive shootout against a talented running back named Lucky.

Senior running back Lucky Sutton stormed for 435 yards and scored seven touchdowns to take Cathedral Catholic past Orange Lutheran 71-62 in a wild CIF State SoCal Division 1-AA regional final at Orange Coast College.

Orange Lutheran (10-5), who rallied in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 finals last week for his first title since 2006, received tremendous performances from quarterback Logan Gonzalez, wide receiver Jaylen Lynch and running back Desmin Jackson, however it wasn’t enough against the Dons (11-2) and their Wing-T offensive, led by Sutton.

Orange Lutheran wide receiver Xane Uipi is left with his thoughts after the Lancers lost to Cathedral Catholic in the CIF Southern California Division 1 AA Championship football game in Costa Mesa on Friday, December 3, 2021. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Wayne Chaneyin of Orange Lutheran, right, battles Cathedral Catholic cornerback Donovan Saunders, left, for a touchdown during the CIF Southern California Division 1-AA soccer game in Costa Mesa on Friday, December 3, 2021 to achieve. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Orange Lutheran running back Desmin Jackson, right, is congratulated by his teammates after scoring a touchdown against Cathedral Catholic in the CIF Southern California Division 1-AA Championship football game in Costa Mesa on Friday, December 3, 2021 Has. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Orange Lutheran quarterback Logan Gonzalez (center) will be fired from the Cathedral’s Catholic defenses at the CIF Southern California Division 1-AA soccer game in Costa Mesa on Friday, December 3, 2021. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Orange Lutheran running back Desmin Jackson, right, comes through the Catholic Cathedral defense and sprints towards the end zone for a touchdown in the CIF Southern California Division 1-AA soccer game at Costa Mesa on Friday, December 3, 2021. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, contributing photographer)

Orange Lutheran defensive lineman Wayne Chaney, right, catches a touchdown in front of Cathedral Catholic Jack Church, left, in the CIF Southern California Division 1-AA soccer game in Costa Mesa on Friday, December 3, 2021. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, contributing photographer)

Orange Lutheran wide receiver Jackson Weng, right, gets a pass but fails to catch against Cathedral Catholic in the CIF Southern California Division 1 AA championship soccer game in Costa Mesa on Friday, December 3, 2021. (Photo.) By Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Orange Lutheran wide receiver Jackson Weng (right) is comforted by Orange Lutheran tight end Ryder Trujillo (left) as they watch Cathedral Catholic show their plaque for the CIF in Costa Mesa on Friday, December 3, 2021 Southern California Division 1-AA Championship receives. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Orange Lutheran defensive lineman Wayne Chaney (left) celebrates his touchdown against Cathedral Catholic with wide receiver Malik Blackmon (right) in the CIF Southern California Division 1-AA soccer game in Costa Mesa on Friday, December 3, 2021. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Orange Lutheran wide receiver Malik Blackmon (center) is comforted after the Lancers lost to Cathedral Catholic in the CIF Southern California Division 1 AA championship football game in Costa Mesa on Friday, December 3, 2021. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

The Orange Lutheran Team runs onto the field prior to the start of the CIF Southern California Division 1-AA soccer game against Cathedral Catholic in Costa Mesa on Friday, December 3, 2021. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Orange Lutheran Wayne Chaneyin, left, reaches for a pass but fails to hold out during the CIF Southern California Division 1-AA soccer game in Costa Mesa on Friday, December 3, 2021. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Catholic running back Lucky Sutton, right, hits Xane Uipiin of Orange Lutheran, left, but fails on the pass in the end zone of the CIF Southern California Division 1 AA championship football game in Costa Mesa on Friday, December 3 , hold tight. 2021. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Catholic running back Lucky Sutton, left, celebrates his touchdown against Orange Lutheran with wide receiver Rex Haynes, right, in the CIF Southern California Division 1-AA soccer game in Costa Mesa on Friday, December 3, 2021. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, contributing photographer)

Catholic running back Darian Whaley catches a pass outdoors and takes it for a touchdown against Orange Lutheran in the CIF Southern California Division 1 AA championship football game in Costa Mesa on Friday, December 3, 2021. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez , Contributing photographer)

Orange Lutheran quarterback Logan Gonzalez goes out of his pocket while looking for a receiver against Cathedral Catholic in the CIF Southern California Division 1 AA championship soccer game in Costa Mesa on Friday, December 3, 2021. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Catholic running back Lucky Sutton breaks the Orange Lutheran Defense for an open field run into the end zone for the score at the CIF Southern California Division 1-AA soccer game in Costa Mesa on Friday, December 3, 2021. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, contributing photographer)

Orange Lutheran Flag Girls wait for the soccer team to take to the field before the CIF Southern California Division 1 AA Championship soccer game against Cathedral Catholic in Costa Mesa begins on Friday, December 3, 2021. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Orange Lutheran running back Desmin Jackson (23) sprints into the end zone for a touchdown against Cathedral Catholic in the second quarter of the CIF Southern California Division 1-AA Championship football game in Costa Mesa on Friday, December 3, 2021. ( Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Orange Lutheran running back Desmin Jackson, center, changes direction to a tackle by Catholic Cathedral defenders in the first quarter of the CIF Southern California Division 1-AA soccer game in Costa Mesa on Friday, December 3, 2021 avoid. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

« He single-handedly outplayed us, » Orange Lutheran coach Rod Sherman said of the 6-foot-1,505-pound Sutton, who has, but has not signed, scholarship offers from primarily Mountain West Conference schools is.

Sutton stormed six TDs on 28 carries for 435 yards and also caught a score. He scored in runs of 62, 45, 63, 75, 74, and 1 yard. Notably, his TD runs of 63, 75 and 74 yards came in consecutive carries in the second half.

« Pretty special kid, » said Sean Doyle, veteran Sutton Catholic Cathedral trainer. “I think he’s underrated. … In my opinion he is a Pac-12 child, but what do I know.  »

In the state finals, Cathedral Catholic will face Folsom at Saddleback College on December 10th at 8pm. Folsom upset De La Salle 28-27 in Regionalliga NorCal on Friday, snapping up the Spartans streak that began with the return of the championships in 2006.

Gonzalez completed 33 of 46 passes for 433 yards and five touchdowns, including four for Lynch, who had 11 receptions for 178 yards. Jackson charged for 219 yards and three scores.

Orange Lutheran was hoping to reach the state finals to continue his run from fifth in the Trinity League. The loss on Friday was the first against a non-Trinity League team.

But the Lancers haven’t lost sight of how much they have achieved this fall. In their first season under Sherman they celebrated a victorious season for the first time since 2013 and reached the final at the top seeded Alemany.

« The story is not what happened tonight, » said Sherman. « The story is how we did this season as a team and what we did. »

« We wanted the state, but unfortunately that didn’t happen, » added Gonzalez. “We are proud of our boys. We did what we could.  »

The teams broke out for 47 points and six consecutive TD drives in a back and forth second quarter that ended in a 27-27 tie, signaling the future. Neither team slowed down in the second half.

Cathedral Catholic took its first lead early in the third quarter on a 51-yard TD run by Darian Whaley, which gave the Dons a 34-27 lead.

Jackson responded with a 76-yard TD run moments later to get the score at 34-34.

But the Catholic Cathedral regained leadership thanks to its defense. Fast outside linebacker Tanoai Letuli recorded a safety on one of his three sacks in the middle of the third for a 36-34 lead.

The play was critical as it gave so much momentum to the dons and how they used it to take a two-point lead.

Late in the third quarter, Sutton lost three tacklers to break a 63-yard TD run to extend Cathedral’s Catholic lead to 43-34.

« It was a huge game, » Doyle said of security. « When we scored a goal, that margin was two points. »
Still holding the Lancers close, Gonzalez threw a 38-yard TD pass at Lynch with three seconds to go in the third quarter.

But Sutton had the last word. He broke a 75 yard TD run in the first game of the fourth quarter. He then answered another Gonzalez-to-Lynch scoring connection with a 74-yard TD run to give Cathedral a 57-47 lead.

Whaley added a 27-yard TD reception from Charlie Mirer to increase the lead to 64-47 at 5:56, and the San Diego Open Division champion held on from there.

The teams combined 1,385 yards offensive. The Dons gained 749 yards, including 575 yards on the ground against a team from a physical league.

« You never think you’ll do this well, » Doyle said of the explosion. « You beat a Trinity League team, that’s a big deal. »

Gonzalez’s five TDs without interception limited his postseason totals to 23 touchdowns against just one INT.

Orange Lutheran scored on first possession when Gonzalez scrambled to his right and threw left for a 33-yard touchdown at Lynch. Jason Terry’s return helped spark the 80-yard scoring drive with a 15-yard run from the Wildcat formation to Cathedral Catholic 33.

Cathedral Catholic leveled the result 7-7 early in the second quarter on a 6-yard TD pass from Mirer to Lucky Sutton, which delivered a smooth play-action fake.

Mirer, son of former Notre Dame and NFL quarterback Rick Mirer, set the score with a 28-yard finish to Rex Haynes, son of Hall of Fame cornerback Mike Haynes.

The teams then exchanged impressive touchdown runs when offensive fireworks broke out in the second quarter.

Jackson itched to an 18-yard score after an interception in midfield by Xane Uipi. Sutton responded with a 62-yard TD run as the teams drove to a 13-13 tie.

Jackson broke a 42-yard TD run on fourth-and-1, only to be countered by Sutton with a 45-yard scoring run.

Gonzalez climbed again and threw a 33-yard TD at a jumping Malik Blackmon with 2:19 in the second round. But Cathedral responded with a TD pass and a 2-point conversion from Mirer with two seconds to go to top the score at 27:27 at break.

The final of the CIF State Open between Mater Dei (11-0) and Serra of San Mateo (11-1) will be played on December 11th at 8pm at Saddleback College.

And while Cathedral Catholic was enjoying a Trinity League win on Friday, the Lancers focused on the special bond that had fueled their turnaround season.

« Everyone on our team is as close as they can get, » said Gonzalez. « When you are that close together, you will play well together and we did. »
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