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FOOTBALL: Relentless Santiago bounces Corona

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BY ERIC-PAUL JOHNSON / STAFF WRITER 
Published: Oct. 10, 2014 Updated: 11:59 p.m.
 
 
CORONA – Fresh off their bye week, the Corona Santiago football squad had one clear goal in mind: end the second-half woes that plagued it in past games.
 

Mission accomplished.

Santiago scored four touchdowns in a span of five minutes in the third quarter, turning a close game into a 57-25 homecoming rout over Corona on Friday night to open up Big VIII League play.

Blake Barnett threw for five touchdowns and rushed for another in the victory. He opened up the second half with a stunning 79-yard touchdown run.

“The biggest thing we wanted was to come out strong in the second half,” said Barnett, who completed 14 of 17 passes for 253 yards. “We have struggled a bit in the second half, so we need to find a way to (fix) all of that.”

After Barnett’s long touchdown run, Santiago (4-2) was able to recover a short kickoff down the sideline when no Corona player ran to the ball.

Four plays later, Barnett tossed a 36-yard touchdown pass to Chaz Savedra to give the Sharks a 37-9 lead.

Corona (1-5) fumbled the ball away on the next possession. Santiago capitalized when Barnett connected with Woody Brandom on a 12-yard scoring pass with 9:45 left in the quarter.

Santiago cashed in another turnover minutes later when Joey Camarillo scored on a 6-yard run to give the Sharks a commanding 51-9 lead.

“Putting together a complete game was what we needed,” Sharks coach Jeff Steinberg said. “And we got great play from everyone tonight.

“The offense was efficient, and the defense stepped up and made plays to give us the ball. All in all, it was a nice way to open up league play.”

Corona hurt its chance to keep the score close with three fumbles and penalties nullifying three scores.

“When something looked like it was starting to go our way, there was a flag,” Panthers coach Steve Hill said. “We made too many mistakes, and you can’t do that against Santiago.”

Barnett had a near-perfect first half, completing 12 of 13 passes for 205 yards. He threw two touchdown passes to Camarillo and one to Brenden Bixler in the opening half.

“That kid is pretty amazing,” Hill said of Barnett.