By Tim Peterson
(San Dimas) – Kaiser’s defense carried the night and the offense did its part to beat San Dimas 28-6 Friday night in the second round of the CIF Division 8 playoffs.
For Kaiser it was deja vu all over again. Last year the Cats beat the Saints 35-34 when they made a stop at the goal line on a two point conversion. This year there was no goal line stand needed as Kaiser dominated from the outset.
San Dimas had a chance to take the early lead but fumbled the ball at the one-yard line in its opening drive of the game.
Kaiser punted the ball away on its first two possessions in a scoreless first quarter but on its third drive the Cats broke through. They pieced together a 10-play, 62 yard drive to go up 7-0. Christian Hunter capped the march with a five-yard run with 7:48 left in the first half.
San Dimas again punted the ball away and Kaiser quickly took advantage. The Cats needed just two plays to get in the end zone. Trey Tribble hit Lucas Mandujano for a 37-yard pass down to the two-yard line. On the next play Tribble connected with Isaiah Rush for a ten-yard score with 33 seconds left in the half. The Cats took the 14-0 lead into the break.
Kaiser again punted the ball away on its first two possession of the third quarter but the Saints offense continued to sputter. They punted on their first series and were stopped on fourth down on the Kaiser 27 on their second possession.
The third quarter ended as it had begun with Kaiser up 14-0. The Cats then chewed up the clock with a 14-play, 73 yard drive to start the fourth quarter mainly on the legs of Hunter. Hunter capped it off with a 14-yard touchdown run with 8:37 left to make it 21-0.
San Dimas, now with its backs to the wall, still could manage only one first down. The Saints were halted again on fourth down at the Kaiser 48. The Cats iced it on the next series marching 52 yards and burning nearly eight minutes off the clock. Adam Munoz went the final three yards with 1:01 left for the 28-0 margin.
Then San Dimas, desperately trying to avoid the shutout, used a hurry up offense to move down the field. Aided by a pass interference penalty the Saints drove down to the Kaiser 11. As the clock hit zeroes, Dylan O’leary scrambled out of the pocket and into the endzone for an 11-yard score. There was no point after attempt since time had run out.
Hunter was the workhorse for the Cats, carrying the ball 31 times for 181 yards and two touchdowns. Tribble ran for 97 yards on 22 carries and completed 4 of 7 passes for 88 yards and a score.
San Dimas, which normally has a devastating ground attack managed just 112 yards rushing on the night. The Saints had less than 200 total yards. The Saints finished the season 9-3 overall and 4-1 (second place) in the Valle Vista League.
Kaiser (11-1) moves on the semis after beating San Dimas for the second straight year in the playoffs. The Cats will face Santa Ana next Friday night.