Dons Fall to Fullerton to in Key to the County Game

Dons Fall to Fullerton to in Key to the County Game

SANTA ANA, Calif. - On Saturday night, the Santa Ana Football team hosted the Fullerton Hornets in its 2022 season opener and the 99th Key to the County Rivalry Game. 

After coming off one their most successful seasons in recent history, the Dons had high expectations coming into week one of 2022. Unfortunately, those expectations were not met as SAC could not gain any traction throughout the game which led to a 56-7 loss to the hands of Fullerton. 

In the opening quarter, the Hornets got off to a fast start as they scored their first touchdown in the first three minutes. They would add on to that lead later in the quarter on a 70-yard drive for a touchdown followed by a 42-yard interception return for six and a two point conversion to give them a 22-0 lead.

Fullerton scored twice more in the second quarter making it a 32-0 game at halftime. 

Following the 15 minute break, the Dons came out with an answer on the offensive side of the football. They used 12 plays to march 62 yards, capping the drive with an 11-yard touchdown from sophomore quarterback Ceasar Ayala to fellow sophomore Kyran Hayes to get on the board. 

With such a promising drive and 20 minutes left in the game, the Dons still had hope for a comeback. But Fullerton responded right away with their own long drive to give themselves a 39-7 lead, putting the game seemingly out of reach. 

Santa Ana failed to score again and were limited to just 270 of total offense. Ayala went 26-of-42 for 183 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. 

Sophomore running back Jamiel Henning caught six passes out of the backfield for 55 yards yards while sophomore receiver Arthur Shaw led the Dons in receptions with 10 and 52 yards. 

Hayes caught just three balls for 44 yards but recorded the only touchdown of the day for SAC. 

Defensively, the Dons were led by freshman linebacker Jaden Genova, who racked up eight tackles with one being for a loss. Alijah Sadler and Nathan Logoleo chipped in with six a piece while Lamar Gray had five. 

Mati Armstrong made his mark with four tackles to go with a sack and a forced fumble in his SAC debut. 

Santa Ana looks to bounce back in week two as they are set to go on the road to face Moorpark College on Saturday, September 10th at 6:00 p.m. Last season the Dons suffered an early 21-19 loss to the Raiders.