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Season ends at 11-1-1: A Loss, But a Memorable Season

Nathan Lancaster ran for 17 yards on four carries before being hampered by an injury.

Laguna’s quest to advance to the section finals for the first time in 50 years fell short last Friday 35-21 on a fog-shrouded field at Garden Grove High School. The host Argonauts had a squad more than twice the depth of Laguna, reflecting their school size more than twice that of the Breakers.

Still Laguna kept pace until the second quarter when the loss of Nathan Lancaster to a knee injury affected the Breakers offense. The contest was played on the damp semi-grass field that looked more like a facility the old Artists might have encountered in the Guyer era than the modern artificial turf most games are played on today.

The two teams traded short possessions in the first quarter before each team scored on a substantial drive. Laguna’s was a 10-play drive with Lancaster scoring on a five-yard run that resulted in his injury. He did appear briefly in the second period on a kick return but beyond that remained sidelined the rest of the event.

Robbie McInerny ran for 23 yards on three carries, substituting for the injured Nathan Lancaster. McInerny finished his Laguna career as the school’s sixth-best all-time scorer.

Both teams also scored on their first two possessions of the second period with Laguna’s coming on a Larry Stewart to Robert Clemons toss that was similar to many of the big plays this season. Garden Grove answered the score with a nine-play drive resulting in a 21-14 lead with about five minutes remaining.  Breakers appeared to be moving when the squad was called for a subjective intentional grounding call that is measured from the spot of the foul and a loss of down. Stewart was scrambling trying to avoid getting sacked and looked away from the receiver not realizing Jake Hexberg had moved away from the sideline when he blindly threw the pass.  The 19-yard loss on the play killed the momentum and was a key turning point in the contest. Garden Grove got the ball back off a 44-yard Hexberg punt and then marched 70-yards in eight plays to extend the lead to 28-14 at the intermission.

Laguna controlled the third quarter but without Lancaster could never sustain any sort of a long drive in any of their second half possessions as the hosts continually keyed on Drake Martinez.  Breakers stopped the Argonauts twice on their tries, finally giving up a score with just four minutes remaining in the game on a nine play 79-yard series.

Not giving up, Laguna went to the air and scored with just two minutes remaining as Martinez caught a Stewart pass in double coverage. Laguna then executed a perfect on-side kick recovered in mid-air by Keaton Martinez. Breakers marched to the Grove’s 14-yard line but could go no further in the closing seconds.

Robert Clemons caught ­­six Larry Stewart passes for 125 yards and finished his career as Laguna’s fourth best all-time receiver and scorer.

2012 was still a memorable season – one of the all-time best in the 78-years of Laguna football.  The senior group have put together a Laguna record 21 wins over the past two years and brought football excitement back to Guyer Field.

 

 

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

 

Laguna Beach

7

7

0

7

21

Garden Grove

7

21

0

7

35

G – 1 run (kick) 5:24 1st Q

L – Lancaster 5 run (McInerny kick) 1:14 1st Q

G – 9 run (kick) 11:54 2nd Q

L – Clemons 57 pass from Stewart (McInerny kick) 9:38 2nd Q

G – 19 run (kick) 4:59 2nd Q

G – 16 run (0:27.7 2nd Q

G – 30 run (kick) 4:03 4th Q

L – Martinez 14 pass from Stewart (McInerny kick) 2:00 4th Q

 

 

 

 

Drake Martinez ran for 78 yards on 12 carries in a valiant effort against the bigger, faster Argonauts.

 

LB

GG

1st Downs

18

24

Rush/Yds

33-130

39-313

Pass Yds

198

183

C-A-I

12-20-0

12-18-0

Plays/TYG

53-328

57-496

Fumbles/Lost

4-0

1-0

Return Yds

0

0

Punts/Ave

5-41.6

2-36.0

Penalties/Yds

4-35

7-55

 

Individual statistics:

Rush:                                    Martinez 17-78, Stewart 7-12, Lancaster 4-17, McInerny 3-23, Clemons 2-(8), Hunter 0-8

Receiving:                  Clemons 6-125, Hexberg 4-44, Lancaster 1-15, Martinez 1-14

Passing:                                    Stewart 19-12-0 198 yds 2 TDs, Mcinerny 1-0-0

Kick Off Returns:                  Clemons 5-107

Punts:                                    Hexberg 5-208   41.6 average                  1 within the 20

Kickoffs                                    McInerny 3, 2 touchbacks

 

Game Milestones:

Hexberg punt of 66 yards 2nd longest in Laguna history. Longest since 1936 (76 years)

CIF Playoff Record:16 playoffs, 30 games W 15, L 15 (Qtrs – 9 times, Semi’s 8, Finals 4)

Season scoring margin set at 26.6 points (Old record 21.0, 1950)

 

Photos by Doug Landrum

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