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High School Football: 'Our biggest challenge yet'

Laguna Beach (3-0) takes on host St. Margaret's (3-0), which is ranked No. 1 in CIF Southern Section East Valley Division.

September 26, 2013|By Mike Sciacca
(Don Leach / Coastline…)

The first three weeks of the season have gone pretty much as expected for the Laguna Beach High football team. A big win here, another one there, then a shutout, have led to early success.

What those three games have primed the Breakers for is, perhaps, their toughest assignment of the year.

Friday at 7 p.m. in San Juan Capistrano, Laguna will go up against undefeated St. Margaret's. The Tartans are the top-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section East Valley Division poll and come into the showdown also 3-0.

St. Margaret's is the first ranked team the Breakers will face this year.

"It's a big one," Laguna Coach Corey Brown said of the game. "It will be our biggest challenge yet."

Laguna has overpowered its first three opponents. Last week, the program notched its first shutout victory since 2006 when the Breakers blanked visiting Rancho Dominguez Prep, 35-0.

The Laguna defense has allowed just seven points the past two weeks and in three games, has given up only 24 points.

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"I really like how our defense is playing," Brown said. "Our D-line is really doing a great job penetrating. Our linebackers are doing their assignments, and our secondary has been great, so far. They are keeping routes in front of them."

Now, Brown's defense will go up against a St. Margaret's offense that comes in averaging 41 points. The Tartans posted 56 points in their season-opening win over Sun Valley Village Christian, 23 against Temecula Linfield Christian, and last week put 44 on Whittier Christian.

St. Margaret's scored on its first five possession during last week's 44-14 win over previously undefeated Whittier Christian (No. 5, Northwest Division). Sophomore running back Nick Shanks ran for 257 yards and scored four touchdowns, and senior quarterback Joshua Davis threw two touchdown passes in the one-sided win.

Brown called Davis a "great player."

"That's the first thing that comes to mind about them, their quarterback," he said. "[Davis] is a great passer with a lights-out arm, and a great runner. I think he does both equally well. We need to know where he's at, and keep a pair of eyes on him at all times.

"In last year's game (a 31-17 Laguna victory), he did a great job against us. He's a big player for them."

The St. Margaret's defense will go up against a Laguna team that has scored no fewer than 32 points in a game.

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