COSTA MESA– It was the Lucky Sutton show on Friday as Cathedral Catholic defeated Orange Lutheran 71-62 in one of the best offensive battles in recent CIF playoff history.
The Dons will advance to the CIF 1-AA State championship against Folsom next weekend at Saddleback College. Here are five takeaways from the game:
There's no other way to describe this game from Lucky Sutton than to call it what it was – one of the best performances by a running back in San Diego Section history, and in CIF playoff history.
Sutton, who appropriate wears the number seven jersey, had a career night with 27 carries for 435 yards plus 45 yards and a touchdown receiving. That gave him a total of seven touchdowns, not to mention 480 yards.
According to the San Diego Section record book, his 42 points scored ties him for fifth in a game in section history. Only eight CIFSDS players have run for more than six touchdowns in a game, and seven is the record, so he's tied for ninth and one TD from the top. And 435 is second in San Diego Section history for rushing yardage. The record book does not include total yards of offense in a game, but the rushing record is only one yard ahead of his mark of 435, so, there is a chance that he just set a new record. (All of those stats don't include eight-man football, but do include both regular season and playoff games.)
"Just one more step away from state. This is one of my favorite [games he's been apart of], very exciting to play in," said Sutton. "I'm very joyful to get that W."
He also credited his tireless offensive line and the talent around him in Cathedral's passing game for the offensive outburst.
"It makes it easier, the defense has to have multiple things to look for. It makes my job easier, and just makes the team better."
Wherever Sutton's official stat line ranks in San Diego Section history and CIF playoff history, don't forget to factor in that it came against an arguable top-100 team in the country in a CIF 1-AA state semifinal.
LOGAN GONZALEZ, DESMIN JACKSON, JAYLEN LYNCH ALSO DOMINATE
While the Lancers came up short, it wasn't for a lack of individual players showing out on offense. To end their amazing senior campaigns, Logan Gonzalez threw for 433 yards and five touchdowns on 31-45 completion, and RB Desmin Jackson ran for 229 yards and three touchdowns on just 14 carries. The Lancers' outstanding, well-balanced receiving corps went out with a bang as Jaylen Lynch in particular (four touchdowns), Malik Blackmon, and the rest of OLu's top targets all held onto just about every ball that found their hands.
It practically goes without saying when both teams scored over 60 points, but both teams' offensive lines were on point as well.
THREE HOURS, 44 MINUTES, AND 133 POINTS
Here's another superlative for this game, since this writeup is full of them: this was the longest, highest-scoring CIF playoff game in recent memory as well – at least for a game that didn't go to overtime or have any prolonged injury timeouts. With the Lancers' passing attack stopping the clock, numerous drives by both teams lasting under a minute before a score, and literally dozens of flags, this game went three hours and 44 minutes. Crazily enough, Cathedral and its rush-centric attack spent a decent amount of time running the clock. Had the Dons put up 71 points by passing half as much as Orange Lutheran did, this game would have legitimately gone on for five hours.
Good thing it was a surreal offensive display, because otherwise such a long second half (nearly 2.5 hours) would've dreadful. But these two elite offenses kept turning heads until the last minute of the game.
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Over? No, the game is still going on!
In all seriousness, the Dons led 64-54 with three minutes left in the game with the ball. Had they not scored, there wasn't even a question as to whether or not OLu would find the end zone again, and if the Lancers followed up a punt and a touchdown with a successful onside kick, Cathedral's incredible win could've collapsed quickly.
But Sutton's seventh touchdown came from just over a yard out to ice the game at three scores. When Orange Lutheran failed to recover the onside kick after its next touchdown cut the deficit to 71-62, the game was officially decided, even though the outcome had been fairly clear for much of the fourth quarter.
A SEASON FOR THE BOOKS FOR ORANGE LUTHERAN
Imagine if before the season, someone tried to convince you that Orange Lutheran would nearly knock off Cathedral Catholic in a CIF State playoff game at the Division 1 level. Before the Lancers hit the ground running this fall with a 31-20 win at Serra (Gardena) and never looked back, they weren't projected to come anywhere remotely close to a CIFSS Division 2 title.