ANTIOCH — A 35-14 loss to the ranked Antioch Panthers did not dampen the spirits of the Soledad Aztec football as they fell to 0-2 at the start on non-league play. The host Panthers led 16-7 in the first quarter and built the lead to 27-7 to close the first half. Soledad kept battling throughout the contest despite playing a late game in hot conditions.
“Antioch was so big and had so much speed,” said Soledad head coach Frankie Berlanga. “We battled them and kept playing hard because that is what we do against any opponent. There were scoring opportunities in the first half where we didn’t convert and missed the chance to keep the game closer. Antioch is ranked in the top in the State and is one of the better teams from the North Coast Section. This week at home against Alisal we will play a team that we can do very well against that is more our size. This past week we had Robbie Santa Anna and Aaron Rodriguez back on the field and that helped us improve our play.”
In the first half Panther quarterback William Karnthong passed for a 20-yard touchdown to Gaudie Campbell and scored on a 33-yard touchdown run. Soledad answered the scores with a six-yard touchdown pass from Robbie Santa Anna to Aaron Rodriguez in the first quarter. Ulysses Uribe added the point after attempt for Soledad.
The first half scoring ended with a touchdown run by Panther Omari Harris and a 25-yard field goal by Omar Curiel.
Antioch scored on a defensive touchdown on a turnover but the Aztec defense did not allow a second half offensive touchdown. Soledad scored in the fourth quarter on a one-yard touchdown run by Santa Anna. The second PAT by Uribe made the final score, 35-14.
Despite the smoldering heat Soledad running back Emanuel Ortega ran for 118 yards on 26 carries. Santa Anna was eight of 19 on passing efficiency for 57 yards and had threw two interceptions. Rodriguez led the Aztec receivers with five receptions for 34 yards and a touchdown and David Madrigal had two receptions for 21 yards. Ortega contributed with one reception for eight yards.
Berlanga praised the play of linebacker/tackle Victor Ocampo and linebacker Jacob Olivas.
David Cruz and Chad Toy were applauded for their play as offensive and defensive linemen and Geronimo Serrano was a standout at center.