Laguna Beach defeated the Golden West League champion Segerstrom (9-3) 51-40 in a hard fought battle played at Guyer Field. As a result, this season’s record-setting Laguna football squad, the most powerful offensive team in the school’s 77 varsity seasons, will face their biggest test this Friday, again on home turf, tangling with Corona del Mar High School in the CIF’s Southern Division semifinal contest at 7 p.m.
No rival for the past 49 years has energized Laguna Beach sports fans more than a contest against the Sea Kings.
On paper, Corona looks unstoppable, as strong defensively as Orange Coast League champs, Estancia, who took the Breakers 35-14 on Oct. 14.
Here’s the breakdown: Corona del Mar(1962) enrollment 1,642; W 10, L 2, second in the Pacific
Laguna Beach (1934) enrollment 1,012, W 10, L 2, third in the Orange Coast League.
PCL champions Beckman and OCL champion Estancia meet in Costa Mesa in the other semifinal contest. Beckman edged Estancia’s Eagles 12-10 on Oct. 6 in a non-league contest.
Of their 22nd meeting on the field, Laguna has won five times: 1962-63-64, 1976 (later forfeited)and 1985. Sea Kings have won 12 straight since. Last meeting: CdM won 65-34 to open the 2009 season.
Who to watch:
Corona del Mar: Offensively – No. 12 quarterback Brent Lawson has thrown for 2,337 yards, 25 touchdowns. Leading runner is No. 4 Erik Fisher (5-10, 185 lb) who has run for 1,319 yards.
Main pass targets are No. 5 Josh Giger and No. 8 Troy Reese. Corona averages five yards per carry and 16 yards per pass reception. On defense, look for No. 2 Fraiser Anderson (5-11, 180 lbs), No. 13 Aaron White (6-1, 195) No. 55 David Moore (6-1, 215) and No. 33 Grant Garrett (6-1 220) to be making the plays.
Scores this season: d. Savanna 4907, d. Huntington Beach 28-21, d. Western 22-21, lost to Newport harbor 29-26, d. Magnolia 48-6, d. Northwood 17-10, d. Irvine 35-0, d. Woodbridge 31-30, d. University 49-21, lost to Beckman 42-37, d. Westminster 43-7, d. Los Amigos 45-7.
Laguna Beach: Larry Stewart has thrown for 1,280 yards and 17 touchdowns in a run-oriented offense. Leading target has been Derek Reigel. In the backfield are Drake Martinez, 1,740 yards running, 237 receiving; Norton Penney Jr. with 1,173 yards running, 176 receiving; and Robert Clemons III with 721 yards running and 313 yards receiving. Breakers are rushing overall an astonishing 9.7 yards per carry and 19 yards per pass reception. All this has accounted for a 47.8 scoring average. On defense, Laguna’s skilled players don’t leave the field.
Scores this season: d. Webb 55-7, d. Ocean View 73-40, d. Bishop Montgomery 28-23, d. Mary Star 55-26, d. Jurupa Hills 56-14, lost to Estancia 35-14, d. Calvary Chapel 48-13, d. Godinez 42-35, lost to Costa Mesa 63-47, d. Saddleback 56-3, d. Anaheim 49-13, d. Segerstrom 51-40.
Last week, Breakers surprised Jaguars in 51-40 upset, defeating the Golden West League champion, Segerstrom (9-3).
Norton Penney Jr. took the opening kickoff 94 yards for the first score and the Breakers capitalized on a Jag fumble to take a 14-0 lead in less than five minutes into the contest. Still Segerstrom battled to tie the game at 14, 21, and just before halftime at 27.
The visitors ran up almost 600 yards in total offense but it was their failure to capitalize on key possessions in the second half that sank their chances. Segerstroms’ three third quarter possessions ended on a Robbie McInerny interception and two punts forced by key defensive stops to the Jaguars runs. Breakers missed a 42-yard field goal on their first drive but came back to connect with under two minutes remaining. Laguna’s next drive ended into the final period with the Breakers taking a 37-27 lead on a 40-yard pass play to Derek Reigel. After Segerstrom scored to cut the lead to three, they held the Breakers to seven plays forcing a punt that Robbie McInerny downed on the Jag one-yard line. Three plays later, Segerstrom fumbled and McInerny recovered the ball on the Jag 17. Three tries later, Drake Martinez scored at Laguna was out in front by 10 with just over four minutes remaining.
Segerstrom scored in a five-play, one-minute drive but Michael Iannotti caught the on-side kick attempt to prevent the comeback. The win was then sealed as Martinez pounded out 55 yards in five plays for the final touchdown.
Ten season wins matches the 1968 team (10-1) and 1987 (10-2) in victories. Breakers had not won two consecutive playoff games since 1962. Laguna is now 13-13 in all-time section playoff contests.
L – Penney 94 KO return (McInerny kick) 11:43 1st Q
L – Clemons 30 pass from Stewart (McInerny kick) 7:52 1st Q
S – 5 run (kick) 4:53 1st Q
S – 55 run (kick) 2:56 1st Q
L – Reigel 35 pass from Stewart ( McInerny kick) 0:48.7 1st Q
S – 7 run (kick) 5:30 2nd Q
L – Martinez 26 run (kick failed) 3:02 2nd Q
S – 1 run (kick blocked) 0:13.9 2nd Q
L – McInerny 42 FG 1:42 3rd Q
L – Reigel 40 pass from Stewart (McInerny kick) 10:21 4th Q
S – 48 run (kick) 8:56 4th Q
L – Martinez 6 run (McInerny kick) 4:34 4th Q
S – 20 pass (kick failed) 3:22 4th Q
L – Martinez 28 run (McInerny kick) 2:04 4th Q
Rushing: Martinez 29-204, Penney 11-22, Clemons 6-42, Lancaster 1-5, Stewart 4-18, Team 1-0
Receiving: Reigel 2-75, Clemons 2-63, Clawson 1-12
Passing: Stewart 13-5-0 150 yds, 3 TDs, 211.5 rating
Interceptions: McInerny 1-0
Punt Returns: Clemons 2-39
Kick-off Returns Penney 3-131, # 55 1-7
Punting: Iannotti 3-128 42.7 ave
Kickoffs: McInerny 9 kicks, 7 TB
FG Attempts: McInerney 2 att, made 1
Penney’s 94 yard KO return 7th longest ever (Penney had a 97 yd KOR in 2010)
McInerny’s 42 yd FG – tied for 12th longest in school history