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Squad now 9-0-1, Laguna Unbeaten, League Champions

Jake Hexberg runs after catching a Larry Stewart pass to set up Laguna’s second touchdown.

This year’s Laguna Beach High School football team became only the fourth in 78 seasons to complete the regular season unbeaten with a 35-28 victory over Costa Mesa’s Estancia HS last Friday, Nov. 2.

The win earned Laguna their 13thleague title and a No. 2 seed in the Southern Division playoffs that begin this Friday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. in Laguna. Breakers will host Loara, a team they have not faced since 1963 when Laguna defeated the Saxons 6-0 at Glover Field. The 16-team playoff concludes in the section finals at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1 at Angel Stadium. Corona del Mar is the top seed. Breakers lost to CdM last year in the semifinals and have not beaten the Sea Kings in over 25 years. Laguna’s last trip to the finals was in 1952.

Hello! Drake Martinez leaps over Costa Mesa’s Kurt Williams to score Laguna’s third touchdown in the first half.

Last Friday, the Mustangs took the opening kick-off 80 yards in seven plays to put Laguna behind 7-0 early in the game. A fumble on the Breakers first possession may have alarmed some of the fans, but Laguna returned the favor quickly as Blake Hester and Drake Martinez forced a fumble recovered by Robbie McInerny on the Laguna 25-yard line. Led by tough running from Martinez, Nathan Lancaster and Robert Clemons plus some well -placed passes from Larry Stewart, Laguna scored on their next three possessions to take a 21-7 lead into the intermission.

In the second half, Laguna took the opening ball and seemed in trouble after a holding penalty on their third play put them on the 19-yard line with third down and long yardage. A pin-point 35-yard pass by Stewart to Clemons teamed up on the third longest pass play in school history going the full 81-yards for a score. Down 28-7, Mustangs would not fold as they kept pace with Laguna right to the end, scoring on consecutive possessions with eight then nine play drives. The Breakers lone touch in-between was turned over on an interception.

Drake Martinez scored Laguna’s first touchdown on a 9 yard run.

Laguna finally sealed the win when Martinez and Lancaster took the load on a seven play drive to take a 35-21 lead with barely a minute gone in the final period. Mesa’s next two possessions ended in turnovers as Robert Coury recovered a fumble and McInerny picked off a pass.  After Mesa finally held on to the ball to score in the closing minutes, Adam Lythgoe recovered the on-side kick attempt to finally end the Mustang upset aspirations.

 

 

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

 

Laguna Beach

7

14

7

7

35

Costa Mesa

7

0

14

7

28

C – 47 Run (Kick) 8:39 1st Q

L -  Martinez 9 run (McInerny kick) 3:50 1st Q

L – Clemons 18 run (McInerny kick) 6:43 2nd Q

L –  Martinez 6 run (McInerny kick) 5:27 2nd Q

L –  Clemons 81 pass from Stewart (McInerny kick) 10:05 3rd Q

C – 4 run (run failed) 7:00 3rd Q

C – 14 run (run) 2:10 3rd Q

L – Martinez 9 run (McInerny kick) 10:57 4th Q

C – 10 run (kick) 1:41 4thQ

Drake Martinez ran for 148 yards on 26 carries.

 

 

LB

CM

1st Downs

17

19

Rush/Yds

41-252

58-340

Pass Yds

126

0

C-A-I

4-8-1

0-2-2

Plays/TYG

49-378

60-340

Fumbles/Lost

2-2

3-2

Return Yds

36

15

Punts/Ave

2-34.5

2-20.5

Penalties/Yds

7-55

12-90

 

Drake Martinez tackles Costa Mesa star running back Orende Crenshaw. The Laguna defense held Crenshaw in check all night to defeat the Mustangs.

Individual Statistics

Rush:                                    Martinez 26-148, Lancaster 9-83, Clemons 4-16, Stewart 2-5

Receiving:                  Hexberg 2-81, Lancaster 1-18, Clemons 1-81

Passing:                                    Stewart 8-4-1 126 yds 1 TD  198.6 rating

I Returns:                  Martinez 1=36, McInerny 1-0

KO Returns:                  McInerny 1-4, Clemons 2-19

Punts:                                    Hecberg 2-69, 34.5 yards

Kick Offs:                  McInerny 6, 4 Touchbacks

 

Milestones:

Game:                  81 yards Stewart to Clemons Pass Plat – 3rd all-time

 

Robert Clemons runs to score Laguna’s second touchdown on a Larry Stewart pass. The 81-yard pass play was the third longest in Laguna history

Season Records:

Team:

492 season points (Old record 474 2011) and scoring average,

32.5 margin of victory per game (old record 23.0 in 1946)

15 Touchdowns all runbacks (old record 7 1949 & 2011)

Touchdowns on Interception returns – 4 (old record 3 – 1947, 1949, 1955, 2011)

Touchdowns on punt returns – 7 (Old record 3 1952 & 1963)

Touchdowns on kick-off returns – 3 (Tied record 2011)

 

Individual:

Career:

Drake Martinez career rushing: 3,086 yards 46 TDs, career scoring, career interception returns for TDs

Robert Clemons: Career touchdowns all runbacks, all kick returns

Larry Stewart: Career passing Efficiency Rating 166.8 (Old record 147.9 by Danny Lane 1985-87)

Robbie McInerny: Kick Scoring (154 points), PATs (139 )

 

 

Photos by Doug Landrum

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