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Breakers upset Segerstrom

November 25, 2011|By Bruce Bourquin, Special to the Coastline Pilot

LAGUNA BEACH – In an edge-of-your-seat CIF Southern Section Southern Division Football Playoff quarterfinal game Friday, Laguna Beach star tailback Drake Martinez played the role of finisher.

On third-and-two from the Segerstrom 29, all the Breakers junior really had to do was get the first down. The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder broke at least two tackles on his way to a 28-yard touchdown run – his third of the night – to clinch a 51-40 win over the Jaguars.

Call it a war of wills that Martinez and Laguna Beach (10-2) won. He rushed for 201 yards on 26 carries.

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“I wasn’t going to go down for anything,” Martinez said. “We had to do it for our seniors. Our whole community supported us. We wanted this one pretty bad.”

The Breakers broke into nearly uncharted territory, reaching the semifinals for the first time since 1964.

Laguna Beach will play host to No. 2-seeded Corona del Mar, a 45-7 winner over Los Amigos, on Friday in the Southern Division semifinals. Segerstrom’s season ended at 9-3.

“No one thought we’d be here,” Breakers Coach Mike Churchill said. “The kids played their heart out. [Martinez] is our go-to guy. But we have so many players on our team who we can go to.”

One of those go-to players was junior quarterback Larry Stewart, who threw for three touchdown passes and 150 yards on five-of-12 passing.

Stewart’s most important pass was to senior wide receiver Derek Reigel, who won a jump ball and leaped up to grab and yank a pass from a Segerstrom cornerback near the Segerstom 20-yard line. Reigel took it the rest of the way on a 40-yard score that extended Laguna’s lead to 37-27.

Reigel also leaped up the Laguna Beach record books, as he moved to third in the all-time career touchdown reception books with 13.

“He’s caught so many passes for us,” Churchill said. “He came through.”

Segerstrom’s quick back Sonny Roa scampered 48 yards for a touchdown that cut the lead to 37-34 with 8:56 left in the game.

Another huge play came two possessions later. Robbie McInerny recovered a fumble by Joseph Gomez on the Jaguar 19. Three plays later, with 4:34 left, Martinez scored on a six-yard outside run that made it a 44-34 ballgame.

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