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Breakers take a break from winning streak

October 01, 2004

Mike Sciacca

Having won three consecutive games following a season-opening defeat,

the Laguna Beach High football team will ride its new-found momentum

into, of all things, a bye week.

The Breakers take a break from gridiron action before returning to

competition on Oct. 8 against Magnolia, in their final nonleague

tuneup.

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In the meantime, they'll focus on daily practices and mending

injuries during the two week stretch between games.

"Who would have thought that we'd lose three of our best players

to injury?" Coach Jimmy Nolan asked. "It has really surprised me how

bad our luck has been regarding injuries.

"Another big surprise was that we were able to kick a field goal

against Costa Mesa. After [coaching] two years at Cantwell, we never

made one field goal. So, I really thought I was cursed by the kicking

gods. Then, Talan boots the game winner. Wow, that was beautiful.

Thanks, Talan."

Nolan was referring to quarterback/kicker Talan Torriero, whose

23-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter turned out to be the

decisive points in Laguna's 10-9 win Saturday over Costa Mesa.

The Breakers had trailed in the game, 9-0, but staged a second

half comeback, which began with a one-yard TD run by Greg Arellano in

the third quarter.

A week earlier, Costa Mesa had scored 28 points on Huntington

Beach.

"Our defense has changed," Nolan said. "We have played good all

year but something was different on Saturday night. We played with a

little more anger, a little more 'pop' in our hitting and didn't back

down to a bigger, more physical team.

"I'm noticing more of a nasty mentality on our defense. This is

what I've been trying to instill. This is what we'll need if this

team wants to compete in league. Saturday was the first time we've

played with the right frame of mind on defense."

The defense might have had its first shutout of the season had it

not turned the ball over early in the game, which led to Costa Mesa's

nine points.

Playing extremely well defensively has been senior linebacker

Lewie Duker.

In a 48-13 trouncing of Ocean View on Sept. 17, Duker recorded

five sacks, caused two fumbles and finished with nine tackles.

"He had such a tremendous game," Nolan said of Duker. "He's really

been stepping it up."

Three victories, Nolan says, has worked well on his players

psyche.

"The preparations we'll take at practice these two weeks is to try

to get a few of our six injured starters healthy, keep building the

killer instinct we finally saw on defense against Costa Mesa, work on

our poor passing game and work on our offensive blocking.

"As always, we'll sprint hard every day and push ourselves to the

breaking point. It's going to take every ounce of energy, anger and

confidence to compete with the impressive Pacific Coast League,

arguably one of the best leagues in Orange County, team for team."

Following its Oct. 8 game against Magnolia, Laguna launches

Pacific Coast League play on Oct. 15 at Northwood.

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