Daryl Bogard, UNI Football Boosters
Game Date: September 8, 2023 7:00PM PST | Photography by: Sandrine Scherson
Koa Saito fired six touchdown passes, three to Blaine Anderson in the first quarter to lead University over Loara, 42-7, spoiling homecoming at historic Glover Stadium Friday night in Anaheim. Two more Saito to Anderson touchdown pass plays in the initial period were overturned on penalties.
Saito exited the game after three quarters going 16 for 24 for 334 yards in the air while adding another 21 on the ground for 355 yards of total offense. Anderson had nine receptions for 107 yards while fellow wideout Jonathan Soto had three catches for 114 yards, including a 65-yard score. Luke Edwards and Eithar Takesh also caught touchdown passes for 50 yards and six yards, respectively. Richard Bines opened play from scrimmage on a 30-yard reception and Damari Carter later had a 27-yard catch on a 3rd and 26 play. Luke McHenry saw action in the 4th quarter attempting one pass.
Anderson had 191 all-purpose yards including two kick returns and two punt returns. Soto had 147 all-purpose yards with a punt return and an interception.
Carter led the ground attack with 33 yards on 7 carries. Ahoora Razzaghi ran for 10 yards on the final play of the game. Uni ended up with 62 total rushing yards compared to 45 for Loara. The Saxons had 105 passing yards, 53 coming on the first play of the second half.
Bines led the Trojan defense with five tackles including four for loss. Ryan Shabbak had eight tackles while Takesh had seven, including two sacks. Ozan Coskun forced and recovered a fumble on a kickoff setting up an early score. Lex Hackett (one tackle for loss), Owen Chiou (one sack) and Carter each had four tackles. Zephyr Reynolds returned to action after a preseason injury with two tackles. Daniel Bar On recorded a sack. Several players got their names in the books notching a tackle or two: Michael Bar On, Zion Barreto, Lucca Clouthier, Luke Emrich, Cruz McMullens, Adham Osman, Coby Schulman and Lucas Thune.
Uni’s offense was humming with 17 first downs (13 in the air), converting 6 of 8 3rd down opportunities and 4 of 5 red zone chances.
The kicking game was in good order for the second game in a row. Skye Murphy drilled seven kickoffs, all but one for 60 yards and made all six PAT converts; his 46-yard field goal attempt was just short. Andrew Bogard punted once for 33 yards putting the ball inside the 20-yard line.
Loara was able to muster 14 first downs and scored on an 80-yard drive to open the second half culminating in a one-yard run by Alex Mejia. Loara was frustrated by the Trojan defense who only allowed two of 10 third down conversions.
Uni won its second consecutive game improving to 2-2 while Loara fell to 0-3. Uni hosts Savanna in a rare Thursday night game September 14. Note the 6:30pm start time.