Imperial shuts out Santee, 46-0
Imperial High's Mark Benedict runs with the ball against Santana High in Imperial on Friday. (JOSELITO VILLERO PHOTO / September 15, 2012)
The Imperial Tigers got into the end zone early and often in a rout that saw junior quarterback Chris Carter and junior fullback Royce Freeman each score three touchdowns.
“Tonight was a good win for us,” Carter said. “But we have to pick it up on the passing game, and I know a lot of that has to do with me.”
The second-year starting quarterback completed half of his 20 passes for 159 yards and three touchdowns versus one interception.
A 53-yard run by Freeman in the first quarter set up a 1-yard touchdown run by backup junior fullback Austyn Smith, who finished with eight carries for 59 yards on the night.
The Tigers blew the game wide open in the second quarter, with Carter and Freeman alternating touchdowns.
Carter tossed a 16-yard score to sophomore Mark Benedict and a 34-yard touchdown to senior Junior Silva, while Freeman scored from 21 and 59 yards out, respectively.
The second half saw more of the same, as the Tiger defense dominated the Santana Sultans of Santee.
Seniors Dexter Bell and Christian Webster joined Freeman and sophomore Marco Miranda in collecting an interception each, with juniors Joseph Gawat and Hector Sanchez combining for a fumble recovery.
The third quarter saw Carter throw his third touchdown pass of the night to yet another receiver, this time to Webster for a 4-yard score.
Freeman tacked on a 48-yard run to help secure Imperial’s second victory of the year and see his name written in the school record books.
His 214 yards and three touchdowns put him past Christian Ramirez for career points scored (288), total touchdowns (47) and total rushing yards (2,823 unofficially).
“It’s a blessing in the Lord’s name,” Freeman said. “It’s all thanks to the offensive line, the coaching staff, and the Imperial Tiger football community.
“Santana is a good team, and we just had to come out with a lot of intensity.”
Imperial (2-1) will host Mater Dei — formerly Marion Catholic — next Friday night, while Santana (0-3) returns to the Imperial Valley to play Central Union High.
“It feels good, but just like we told the players, it gets tougher and tougher from here on out,” Tigers coach Kerry Legarra said. “We’ve got a bull’s eye on our backs, and don’t mind that.”