High school sports

Western romps to CIF-SS Division 11 title

ANTHONY MUNOZ (10) threw for five TD passes Friday night as Western High defeated Peninsula High 49-21 in the CIF-SS Division 11 title game at Handel Stadium (Orange County Tribune photo by Christopher Abdelmalek).

By Chris Abdelmalek

The day after Thanksgiving tends to be a bit on a sluggish slide for most people. Everyone is stuffed up on turkey and stuffing. However, the boys of Western High School were filled with more than just a thanksgiving feast in their stomachs. The Pioneers took on the Panthers of Peninsula High School in the CIF Southern Sectional Division 11 football championship game at Handel Stadium and posted a 49-21 victory.

It was the school’s first CIF-SS title in the school’s history. The Pioneers finished with a 12-2 record and the Panthers posted a 9-5 final mark.

Coach Dan Davidson spoke after the game about the new culture of his team. “The change in the culture starts with the administration and they stayed with me during the tough times in the beginning. We have a belief with a whole bunch of guys that believe they could do it.”

The game started off with a trick play right off the bat as the Pioneers reversed the kickoff and Caine Savage took it for 97-yards and the touchdown. The next play on the kickoff, the Panthers couldn’t handle the pooch kick from the Pioneers and they took the ball back right away. They very next drive big Jacob Domino took it 22 yards on the ground for a touchdown putting the Pioneers up 14-0 with less than five minutes played.

Before the Panthers could even breathe, the very next series from the Pioneers quarterback Anthony Munoz tossed a 55-yard screen pass to Cassius Savage to go up 21-0. Munoz finished the game with 16 completions in 21 attempts, worth 296 yards and five touchdown passes, three to Cassius Savage. “Anthony makes me look smart,” Davidson said.  “That’s just who he is, he is a competitor and he understands the game of football and he puts us in great situations.”

By halftime the game was pretty much over at 42-14. A few second half scores made the final 49-21, but the game was not even that close. Western’s defense was dominant, holding Peninsula to under 200 yards of total offense. Panthers’ running back Ethan Han was held to 66 yards on the ground, under his season average, and quarterback Jack Haworth only completed seven passes tonight for 62 yards. once again under his season average.

Munoz spoke about his team’s effort after the game. “We knew what we were capable of this year. We knew this was the year we could win it all. I have an amazing line, [the] receivers are amazing, I just get them the ball and they make me look good.”

 

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