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High School Football: Unbeaten Breakers ready for CIF

Laguna Beach, which went 9-0-1, opens Southern Division playoffs at home against Loara.

November 08, 2012|By Mike Sciacca
(Kevin Chang | Coastline…)

After having turned in one of the most successful regular seasons in program history, the 2012 season now becomes a one-game season for the Laguna Beach High football team.

The Breakers completed an unbeaten regular season on Nov. 1 when they defeated host Costa Mesa, 35-28. The victory sewed up an outright Orange Coast League title for the Breakers and took them to 9-0-1 overall. The last time a Laguna team completed the regular season without a loss, was the 1968 squad, which went 9-0.

The 1937 and 1946 teams are the other two teams to finish without a loss during the regular season.

Now, Laguna has its sights on postseason play. The Breakers begin the next portion of their season Friday when they play host to Loara in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs. Game time is 7 p.m. at Guyer Field.

"I've been telling the kids every week throughout the season, that the game they were about to play that week, was the most important one of the season," Laguna Coach Mike Churchill said. "Like last week's Costa Mesa game. We beat Estancia a few weeks ago, but if we lost to Costa Mesa, we wouldn't be outright league champs.

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"Friday is the most important game we'll play yet. It's that time of the season where half of the teams left in our division, will be gone, eliminated, by Saturday."

Laguna earned the No. 2 seed in the 16-team Southern Division bracket. The Breakers are seeded behind Pacific Coast League champion Corona del Mar (8-2), which won the division title last year. Garden Grove, champion of the Garden Grove League and 8-2 overall, is the No. 3 seed. Orange League champ Katella (8-2) is the No. 4 seed.

"I think the best [playoff] draw went to CdM, and they deserve it," Churchill said. "There's only so many ways you can shuffle that deck.

"Our kids are really focused. They talked about the playoffs during the summertime because they knew that they had the potential to be a very good team. Now, we're here. It's nice to be heading into the playoffs as a league champion."

Laguna secured that title by fending off a determined Costa Mesa team Nov. 1. The Breakers fell behind, 7-0, but took a 14-7 lead midway through the second quarter when Robert Clemons scored on an 18-yard run on an inside handoff. The score came one play after quarterback Larry Stewart hit Jake Hexberg on a slant pattern for a 20-yard gain on a fourth-down play.

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