Santa Fe Christian gets big output from Lehberg in beating LJCD

Lehberg does everything as Santa Fe Christian tops La Jolla Country Day


At 5-foot-7, Colton Lehberg was one of the smallest players on the field Friday.

But the Santa Fe Christian senior running back/kicker came up big, scoring three touchdowns, making all five of his PAT attempts and drilling a 34-yard field goal to end the first half as the No. 10-ranked Eagles beat La Jolla Jolla Country day 38-14 in a key Coastal League game.

Plus, Lehberg saved a touchdown when LJCD’s Evan Hiremath broke loose on a kickoff return, racing from his 6 to the SFC 36 before Lehberg — the last line of defense — brought him down.

Despite the good field position the Torreys (5-3, 2-2) failed to score, turning the ball over on downs.

“For me to tackle a guy on a kickoff is a good and bad thing,” said Lehberg, who his teammates call the Muscle Hamster.

“If I make a tackle, the guy made a long run. But if I make the tackle, I probable save a touchdown.”

Lehberg was the game’s leading rusher, running 12 times for 79 yards and his three scores.

SFC rushed 43 times for 310 yards and quarterback Thomas Greuppner completed 7 of 13 passes for 121 yards.

Zachary Marshall caught six of those passes for 114 yards.

“We had a really good game plan,” Lehberg said. “We knew they’d stack the box (put seven, eight nine near the line of scrimmage).

“So we had a lot of plays for the wings — me — trying to get outside.

“We prepared all week for what they threw at us. Our young guys on the scout team did a great job getting us prepared.”

Lehberg, who checks in at 155 pounds, plans to play lacrosse in college at Grove City, an NCAA Division III program in Pennsylvania.

“I might try and kick if the football team needs someone,” he said. “I grew up playing soccer and wanted to kick on the football team.”

Santa Fe Christian (8-0, 4-0), playing without star running back/linebacker Cooper Whitton, who is out with a broken collarbone, is ranked No. 3 in the playoff Power Rankings behind Mater Dei Catholic and Mt. Carmel. Mater Dei Catholic is ranked No. 4 in the county while Mt. Carmel is No. 8, making Division III perhaps the top division behind the Open.

La Jolla Country Day is a Division IV team and is No. 10 in that Division.

“We had a lot of guys missing tonight, but I thought we played very well against a really good football team,” said LJCD coach Tyler Hales.

“We had some chance, but didn’t convert on some fourth downs, and they just wore us down.”

LJCD junior quarterback Bito Bass-Sulpizio completed 24 of 34 for 229 yards and a TD.

Charlie Gooding had eight catches for 91 yards.

“Bito has really matured,” Hales said. “It has been fun to see his development.”

Santa Fe Christian has beaten LJCD 14 straight times. The last LJCD win was in 1994. The series stands 18-1.

Santa Fe Christian 38, La Jolla Country Day 14

Santa Fe Christian 7 17 7 7 — 38

La Jolla Country Day 0 6 8 0 — 14

SFC — Brekke 12 run (Lehberg kick)

LJCD — Aruffo 4 pass from Bass-Sulpizio (run failed)

SFC — Lehberg 23 run (Lehberg kick)

SFC — Lehberg 4 run (Lehberg kick)

SFC — FG Lehberg 34

SFC — Lehberg 5 run (Lehberg kick)

LJCD — Aruffo 3 run (Glynn pass from Bass-Sulpizio)