Laguna Beach tries to get past loss

High School Football

After suffering first loss of the season against Estancia last week, Breakers look to regroup for the remainder of league play.

October 20, 2011|By Mike Sciacca
  • Laguna's Norton Penney is brought down by the facemask by Estancia's Alex Gonzales during last week's game.
Laguna's Norton Penney is brought down by the facemask… (DON LEACH, Coastline…)

It's been a busy week for the Laguna Beach High football team, which had just three practice days to prepare for another Orange Coast League opponent.

Six days after opening league play against Estancia, the Breakers took on Calvary Chapel on Thursday night. The score from that game wasn't available at press time.

Last week, Laguna suffered its first defeat of the season when defending league champion Estancia scored a 35-14 victory in the Breakers' homecoming game at Guyer Field. The Breakers never led in the contest and couldn't contain Eagles running back Robert Murtha. Last year's OCL Player of the Year rolled for 255 yards and three touchdowns.

Laguna dropped from fifth to ninth in this week's CIF Southern Division poll, while Estancia moved up from sixth to fourth.

"We got beat by a real good football team," Laguna Coach Mike Churchill said after the Breakers were held to their lowest point total of the season. "They are just so much bigger up front than we are, and they pretty much ran on us all night.


"We just need to regroup from this and win our next four games, finish 9-1, and head to the playoffs."

A two-yard touchdown run by Murtha had given Estancia the lead after its first possession, but Laguna stormed right back on its opening possession to tie the score on an eight-play, 80-yard drive that ended on a spectacular pass play. Quarterback Larry Stewart lofted a perfectly placed throw downfield that receiver Travis Clawson ran down to make an incredible, one-handed grab at the Estancia 11. Clawson's momentum carried the senior into the end zone to complete a 38-yard scoring play that electrified the Laguna crowd.

Estancia took the lead again on its next drive when quarterback Brad Wilson scored one a five-yard keeper, but that lead looked to be short-lived after Laguna's Nathan Lancaster took the ensuing kickoff back 90 yards for an apparent touchdown. The stirring return by the sophomore was negated by a holding call against the Breakers on the play.

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