The Santee High School Falcons football team committed a 12-game winning streak when they defeated the Fremont Pathfinders 52-20 to win the Division III City Section Championship. The Falcons led throughout the game with senior running back Joseph Todd rushing 282 yards from 26 carries to make four touchdowns.
The Falcons were not pleased with losing in the second round of the playoffs last year and trained hard prior to the beginning of the season. They went undefeated in the Exposition League and earned a top seed in the playoffs.
“We worked so hard for this,” Todd said. “We don’t play down to anybody else’s level, we put them up on our level.”
Santee kept the ball on the ground to make their first score by Todd, but failed their 2-point conversion. The Falcons scored again on their next possession to make 13-0 lead. When Santee punted the ball, Pathfinders senior Leo Soto made a 67-yard touchdown return.
After seven plays, Falcons senior quarterback Noe Orea ran in a touchdown from two yards out.
Santee went into the second quarter with a 20-7 lead with no signs of stopping. The Fremont offense struggled with penalties while Santee charged down the field. Senior Anthony Herrera scored for Santee with a 29-yard running play.
Junior quarterback Jayden Amos-Hollis willed the offensive line forward, by securing two first downs. Senior fullback Tarrell Smith made a rushing score for Fremont. Once the Santee offense returned to the field, Todd completed a 57-yard rushing play. By halftime, the Falcons were ahead 33-14.
“I had receivers not coming to the ball, but I could have threw better balls,” Amos-Hollis said. “I should have brought the team together a little bit being a quarterback.”
Soto started the third quarter with a 73-yard punt return to edge the Pathfinder score up to 20. Yet Fremont could not contain the rushing game of the Falcons, who scored again six plays later but failed their two-point conversion.
Todd also played with intensity on the defensive end, picking off Amos-Hollis on Fremont’s next possession. Later in the quarter, Todd made another trip to the endzone.
“Joseph Todd is a great kid, great athlete, very hard working,” said Santee head coach John Petty. “If you put Todd on any team, he’ll start and be a star.”
Todd pegged Santee’s final score at 52 with a run made early in the fourth quarter. Santee was unable to score again.
“We were young, inexperienced in a lot of positions, but we pulled it together,” Fremont head coach Curtis Johnson said about the Pathfinders’ season. “We had a little fight in us and the fight got us through a lot of games.”