An adjustment on defense, a pair of touchdown passes, and five rushing TDs—three of them by Andrew Lujan—lifted Estancia High School to its first victory of the season Sept. 7 at home.
The visiting Escalante Lobos (1-2)—helmed by former Estancia coach and athletic director Dusty Giles—used six plays on their opening drive to take an early 6-0 lead.
But after that, the Bears rolled to a 46-6 rout.
“We circled this one as a must-win,” Estancia head coach and athletic director Stewart Burnett said. “That was a big win for us, the boys played really well.”
After Escalante scored, Estancia made a key adjustment and moved Drayton Oberg to the defensive line where he frustrated the Lobos’ offense the rest of the game.
Oberg tallied 13 tackles; nine of them were solo tackles and 10 were for a loss. He also recovered a Lobos’ fumble and forced another fumble that the Bears recovered. Both turnovers came in the second quarter.
“Moving Drayton to defensive tackle made all the difference in the world,” Burnett said. “He just ate them alive.”
Oberg also scored Estancia’s first touchdown on a leaping 20-yard catch in the end zone that capped a 65-yard opening drive.
Early in the second quarter, Lujan took a direct snap and scooted 7 yards for his first TD.
With under a minute left in the second quarter and facing fourth-and-4 at the Escalante 44-yard line, Oberg caught a screen pass from Cruz Moreno that resulted in his second TD—a play Burnett calls “Hawaiian 66-Stink Bug.”
“Hawaiian 66 is the play, a screen [pass], and ‘Stink Bug’ is the code name for who gets it,” Burnett said. “Drayton is ‘Stink Bug.’ They’ve all got their little nicknames.”
Oberg grabbed the screen pass across the middle and darted past a pack of Lobos to put Estancia up 19-6 at halftime.
On Estancia’s first possession of the third quarter, Josh Thomas’ 46-yard TD run capped a three-play drive to give the Bears a 20-point cushion.
Later in the quarter, Lujan scored on a 62-yard run when he started to his right, cut back and gashed through a gaping hole to push the Bears’ lead to 32-6.
“I had some good blocks,” Lujan said. “I just went back to what I’ve been coached, find the hole and go north to south.”
Lujan’s third TD—a 17-yard run early in the fourth quarter—boosted the Bears’ lead to 39-6. He finished with 129 yards rushing on 14 carries.
Thomas rounded out the scoring on the Bears’ next possession when he turned a would-be fumble into a 68-yard burst, his second TD of the game. While running a sweep to his left, the ball came loose but it bounced back up into his hands. He then reversed his direction and raced to the end zone.
“Well, you know, we’re taught to never give up on the play, you always gotta play hard no matter what happens,” Thomas said. He piled up 278 yards on 21 carries.
The Bears’ next test will be Sept. 14 when they host the Santa Rosa Lions.