By Steve Fryer
Photo Credit: Matt Brown
COSTA MESA – Servite coach Troy Thomas predicted before the game that Friars quarterback Noah Fifita was about to have a big night.
That was a good prediction. Fifita threw for 404 yards and six touchdowns as Servite beat Villa Park 48-9 on Friday in a nonleague game at Orange Coast College.
Fifita (5-10, 168), a sophomore, completed 20 of 27 passes. Zedakiah Centers caught three of his touchdown passes. Isaac Figueroa caught two of them and Damien Moun caught one.
Servite is 3-1. The Friars are ranked No. 5 in the Register’s Orange County top 25 media poll. They are No. 24 in the state rankings compiled by CalHiSports.com.
Villa Park is 1-3 and No. 12 in the O.C. top 25. All three of the losses are to teams in the county top 5, and all three were by large margins. The Spartans lost to top-ranked Mater Dei 63-7 and to No. 3 Mission Viejo 59-0; their win was over Trabuco Hills 42-0.
Thomas has plenty of confidence in Fifita and saw indications during the week that Fifita would be outstanding against Villa Park.
“I felt like he was going to have a good night tonight,” Thomas said, “seeing him in practice, the way he’s handling being a leader.”
Servite’s defense had a good night, too. The Friars limited Villa Park’s leading rusher Anthony Hakai, averaging 81 yards a game, to 53 yards on 17 carries. Three Servite players had interceptions: Noah Avinger; Karrington Dennis; and Nick Jako.
Villa Park scored first on a 38-yard field goal by Jack Marta. Fifita then connected with Centers on a 3-yard touchdown pass to give Servite the lead that would grow continuously from there.
Centers later caught touchdown passes of 4 and 50 yards. On the 50-yard scoring play in the third quarter Centers took in a short pass near the right sideline at the Villa Park 35 and broke a couple of tackles before running diagonally across the field to the end zone.
Servite on Friday, Sept. 27 plays at Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, which is No. 9 in the CIF-Southern Section Divisions 1 and 2 combined top 10. Villa Park, No. 4 in the CIF-SS Division 4 top 10, plays at El Toro on Friday, Sept. 27.