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High School Football: Playoff spot on line for Breakers

Laguna Beach must deal Costa Mesa first league loss of season to earn CIF Southern Section playoff berth.

November 07, 2013|By Mike Sciacca

Win, and they're in.

It's as simple as that, for a Laguna Beach High football team that is looking to keep its season going. The Breakers play host to Costa Mesa in an important Orange Coast League and regular-season finale Friday at Guyer Field.

The Breakers have a tough assignment in Costa Mesa, and the game, played on Senior Night, presents them the opportunity, with a victory, to nail down an automatic berth to the upcoming CIF Southern Section playoffs.

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The Mustangs have streaked of late, winning their last five games following a 1-3 start. Led by talented running back, senior Oronde Crenshaw, they earned a share of the OCL title last week by handing Calvary Chapel its first league defeat, 58-41. The outcome left the Mustangs (6-3 overall, 4-0 league) with a one-game lead on the Eagles.

A win against Laguna (5-4, 2-2) Friday would give Costa Mesa the title outright. The Mustangs last captured the league crown outright in 2008. They shared the 2007 title with rival Estancia.

The Breakers share third place with Estancia (4-5, 2-2) a team they defeated, 59-14, Oct. 18.

Estancia plays Calvary Chapel Friday.

Laguna, last year's OCL champion, is out of the title race mix. But a win Friday would give the Breakers a No. 3 league finish which would earn them an automatic bid to the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs, which start Nov. 15.

A loss, then other playoff scenarios unfold including a potential, tie-breaking coin flip that would determine the league's No. 3 team and automatic qualifier to the playoffs.

"This is a big game for us," Laguna Coach Corey Brown said. "Win, and we are in. I've told the kids that we don't want to find a back door to get into the playoffs. A win Friday gets us there.

"We've got a league champion coming to our place Friday, and we will play this like it's a playoff game. That's what it is, for us."

Friday's matchup will feature two of the OCL's prominent running backs.

Laguna senior Nathan Lancaster has rushed for 2,089 yards in nine games. Two weeks ago, he set the Orange County single-game rushing record with 547 yard against Calvary Chapel. He comes into Friday's game averaging 12.22 yards per carry and has 28 rushing touchdowns.

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