Orange Lutheran Proves to Be Too Much for Vista, 37-3

Vista Murrieta tight end Jamie Nunley heads upfield after a pass reception Friday night. The Broncos lost to Orange Lutheran. Having won...

Vista Murrieta tight end Jamie Nunley heads upfield after a pass reception Friday night. The Broncos lost to Orange Lutheran.

Having won 25 consecutive league games and making it to the CIF finals five years running, Vista Murrieta High School football players and their fans aren't used to something like this.

But it's not every day you face an opponent the quality of Orange Lutheran while you're still in a bit of a rebuilding mode.

The visiting Lancers (4-1), ranked 184th in the nation and 28th in the state, led from late in the first quarter on and played a dominating second half in a 37-3 rout of Vista Murrieta Friday night at Vista.

"They really played a different level of football than we were ready for," said Vista Murrieta coach Coley Candaele. "We couldn't match it. That's why they're better than us."

Vista (2-2) scored its only points on a 33-yard field goal by Kane Page midway through the first quarter. The Broncos had a chance to increase the lead after Brandon Worthy blocked a Lutheran punt (left) moments later, but they couldn't move the ball against a big and aggressive Lutheran defense. The Lancers drove 92 yards on their next possession, capped by a 16-yard touchdown pass from quarterback L.J. Northington to Riley Brand. They never looked back.

Vista was able to move the ball close enough for two more field goal attempts in the first half but missed both and trailed 14-3 at halftime. By the end of three quarters, it was 27-3.

Fullback Patrick Reardon ran for 150 yards and three touchdowns for Orange Lutheran.

"They really changed their level of play in the third quarter," Candaele said. "We had chances in the first half but we couldn't stay with them. We could've capitalized on some chances in the first half but we didn't.

"We can play with them for 12 minutes, but when they went in at halftime and adjusted some things, it was a different story."

Orange Lutheran wasted no time increasing its lead to 21-3 at the start of the third quarter. The Lancers moved methodically down the field with a drive capped by Reardon's 11-yard touchdown run. Moments later, following a Vista punt, the Lancers scored on their first play on a 40-yard pass from Northington to Hudson Hankins.

Vista quarterback Westin Long completed 11 of 24 passes for 159 yards in his first game back from injury. Tito Feliciano was Vista's leading rusher with just 36 yards.

"We're behind where we need to be," Candaele said. "We're going to have to play catchup for the next couple weeks."

The Broncos play host to St. Augustine in their Homecoming game next Friday before opening Southwestern League play against Great Oak on Oct. 10.

Westin Long returned at quarterback Friday night and passed for 159 yards.

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