Santa Teresa wins her first CCS title against Branham
SAN JOSE — An example of a team hardened by adversity and rewarded for perseverance was played Saturday at San Jose City College where Santa Teresa won the first Central Coast Section football championship in history. of the school with a 23-15 win over Branham in the Division IV final.
Four weeks ago, the Saints were in shock, on a three-game losing streak, below .500 this season.
“That three-game streak where we lost two in overtime set us up for today,” Santa Teresa coach Steve Papin said.
Since then, Jayden Arevalo has taken over at quarterback and led the team on a four-game winning streak. On Saturday, he passed for 158 yards and two touchdowns. And despite boasting a slight stature at 5-foot-10 and 150 pounds, he ran for 101 yards, displaying a slippery running style that allowed him to pull away from would-be attackers.
In some ways, the game turned into a clash of running quarterbacks. Arevalo held firm, and Branham quarterback William Augenstein capped a dominant senior campaign with 168 rushing yards on 34 carries and a touchdown, his 30th rushing touchdown of the season.
“I’ve been training with Will for the past two years,” Arevalo said. “It’s all love at the end of the day.”
Augenstein entered the game with over 2,000 rushing yards and 2,000 passes. Obviously, he was central to the preparation of Santa Teresa.
“Bill Belichick, take what they do best,” Papin said. “I said to the guys, take off 9 (Augenstein’s uniform number) and we win the game.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Arevalo joined Noah Gardere on a 38-yard touchdown pass and the Saints entered halftime with a 7-0 lead.
Branham (11-2) kicked off the second half and drove for an even score, a 1-yard run by Mateo Poso.
A long kickoff return from Richard Salazar put Santa Teresa at the Branham 40. After a 29-yard run by Arevalo, he hit Jeffrey Kerr for a 13-yard touchdown pass and a 13-7 lead.
A 32-yard field goal from Casey Carr extended the lead to 16-7.
Augenstein took charge on Branham’s next possession, carrying six times for 42 yards. He scored on a 4-yard run, then ran again on a two-point conversion to bring the Bruins back to 16-15.
And when Gunnar Paedon intercepted a pass from Arevalo and pushed it back 49 yards to Santa Teresa’s 36, Branham looked like he was in position to take control. Four runs from Augenstein advanced the ball to the 13, where his apparent touchdown was called off on a holding penalty. On the fourth and 9 of the 12, Augenstein’s pass fell incomplete.
Santa Teresa ran for 88 yards for a breathtaking touchdown, a 2-yard run by Evan Smith. The big play on the drive was a 47-yard run from Josh Reyes, in which he broke several tackles.
“He’s our vocal leader, our physical leader, our team leader,” Papin said.
Reyes, who plays a key role in securing a defensive unit that has been the strength of the team all season, was asked what it meant to win the first CCS football title in club history. ‘school.
“It touches your soul,” he said. “It’s surreal, like a dream come true”
Arevalo was asked what he thought of the historic win.
“I can tell my grandchildren about it,” he said.
Branham was also trying to win his first CCS football title. The Bruins reached the Division IV Finals in 2019 and lost to Milpitas, 27-26. Again, coming out of a ‘B’ league, the Santa Teresa division of the Blossom Valley Athletic League, they played a bit short against an ‘A’ league team used to a tougher level of competition.
“Our guys, they competed and fought with an ‘A’ division team,” Branham coach Stephen Johnson said. “That says a lot about our guys and our program. They went up to the big stage. I’m proud of my guys.
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