Spartans Prove No Match for Breakers
The fans at the spacious Jurupa Hills stadium in Fontana were excited at halftime about the rally their young squad had just executed to close the gap with Laguna to 28-14 last Friday. In barely five minutes, Laguna blew a 28-0 lead with three botched possessions, limping into half time wondering if they could hold on and win the contest.
The game started to unravel after Laguna fumbled the ball on their second possession of the second quarter. With the clock ticking, quarterback Larry Stewart noticed the team only had 10 players after the change of possession. The last-minute scramble went from bad to worse as the hurried snap and hand off was fumbled and the ball bounced into the hands of a Jurupa player for an easy return for a score. The Spartans were now inspired, holding Laguna to three plays and a punt and gaining their second advantage by partially blocking the Breaker kick to set up their second score. Jurupa went 23 yards in seven plays to cut the lead to 14.
Laguna’s last possession of the half ended on another fumble giving the host Spartans all the momentum into the intermission.
The contest opened with the Breakers fumbling their initial play but scoring on their next four possessions to take a 28-0 lead. Stewart’s arm was key in all four drives. He hit Robert Clemons for 29 yards to the Jurupa one-yard line in setting up the first score and throwing three TD passes for the remaining points. Stewart became the 15th Laguna quarterback in 77 seasons to throw three or more touchdowns in a game joining his father, Lance, who passed for three against Elsinore in 1980, the first father-son combo.
In the second half, Breakers held Jurupa on the first possession to a 37-yard drive in nine plays that turned the ball over on downs.
Laguna scored quickly on a three-play drive with Stewart starting it off by hitting Clemons on a 41-yard pass play on the first snap. Robbie McInerny set a new single-season school record with his 31st kick for a point. Jurupa deflated after that with Drake Martinez running back-to-back 23-yard runs for the sixth score. The seventh touchdown came on a 55-yard play that started with a run by Martinez who was hit hard on the Jurupa 45-yard line only to have the ball pop into the air and right to Norton Penney, who raced the remaining distance for the score. The Breakers last touchdown came after a bad snap of a punt lost 25 yards for the Spartans giving Laguna a short 15 yard run for their eighth score.
Laguna (5-0) has now scored 267 points in the first five games. The school record is 343 for a season. League play begins this week with defending champion Estancia (3-2) as the favorite and Costa Mesa (4-1) the other chief roadblock. Only Saddleback (0-5) appears out-manned for 2011.
McInerny Lofts Over School Kicking Record
In the third quarter of last Friday’s 55-14 demolition of Jurupa Hills High School, place kicker Robbie McInerny eclipsed a 43-year-old school record by kicking his 31st extra point in the fifth game of the season.
It took former place kicker Steve Wiezbowski 11 games in 1968 to set the Laguna single-season record of 30 extra points.
McInerny was perfect on the night, converting eight of eight point after touchdowns to tie the single-game record he set earlier this season against Huntington’s Ocean View. He also had a field goal against Ocean View to give him 11 points for the game, equaling Todd Merz’s 10-year-old single-game record for kick scoring.
For the year, McInerny is 34 of 37 on PAT attempts and has made one of two field goals, giving him 37 points. With five regular season games remaining, McInerny is only 13 points shy of breaking Jason Crabbe’s 1987 single season record of 49. And Crabbe’s career record of 80 points is well within reach of the junior kicking machine.
Photos by Robert Campbell.