Payton Key in Win for Saints

Austin Hill put pressure on Jake Martinez all night. Recording three sacks. (Photo by Anne Cypress)

(Azusa) – San Dimas’s super sophomore Jake Payton ended the first half with a scintillating 66-yard run for touchdown, than began the second half with a 86-yard kickoff return to help lead the Saints to a 41-16 non-league victory over Azusa.

The loss by the Aztecs snapped its 20-game regular season winning streak.

Andrew Espinoza led San Dimas with 130 yards rushing on seven carries.

Down by three for all of the first quarter, San Dimas got a gift early in the second quarter after a bad snap during a punt attempt for the Aztecs as the ball ended up being picked up by Saints lineman D.J. Pray in the end zone.

Later in the quarter a huge momentum buster hurt the Azusa special teams unit as Erick Rodriguez blocked San Dimas’s punt attempt. As the ball fluttered in the air, Adrian Chavez picked it out of the air and looked to have scored the go-ahead touchdown. Instead, the play was called back for off-setting penalties.

The Aztecs failed to gain any momentum near the end of the second quarter which setup Payton’s first score. The first play from scrimmage for the Saints with 48 seconds remaining went to Payton. He then did the rest with a 66-yard score.

After the halftime break and with the Aztecs still stunned, Payton extended the lead to 17 with the 86-yard kickoff return.

Desmond Reed ran for 60 yards in the loss to San Dimas. (Photo by Anne Cypress)

Falling behind by 17 early in the third, Azusa engineered a 12-play drive that ate up 4:42 off the clock. Desmond Reed powered his way into the end zone from three-yards out to cut the lead to 10.

Prior to the game, San Dimas head coach Bill Zernickow stated that he wanted to throw the ball. Shawn Kennedy was able to throw the ball five times, completing four passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Cody McNeal caught only two passes but made them both count with scores of 32 and 35 yards.

The Saints aerial assault put the game away early in the fourth quarter as they extended the lead to 24 points.

Jake Martinez tried to get the Aztecs back into the game midway through the fourth quarter with an impressive 13-yard touchdown run.

Martinez finished the night 17 of 29 for 177 yards with no touchdowns. Martinez also finished with 52 yards rushing and a score.


1 2 3 4 F
San Dimas 0 13 14 14 41
Azusa 3 0 7 6 16
SCORING: at Citrus College
Azusa Jesus Arteaga 31 yard field goal
San Dimas D.J. Pray fumble recovery in endzone (Dillon Corona kick)
San Dimas Jake Payton 66 run (PAT miss)
San Dimas Payton 86 kickoff return (Andrew Espinoza run)
Azusa Desmond Reed 3 run (Arteaga kick)
San Dimas Cody McNeal 35 pass from Shawn Kennedy (PAT miss)
San Dimas McNeal 32 pass from Kennedy (Corona kick)
Azusa Jake Martinez 13 run (run fail)
San Dimas Corona 1 run (Corona kick)

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