Laguna Beach delighted the overflow 63rd homecoming crowd last Friday night at Guyer Field with a game for the ages that featured big plays and excitement to the finish. The Kares from Arcadia are a Christian high school that has been competing since the 1960s.
After an exchange of punts, Breakers were able to pin Rio Hondo to their two-yard line aster a 41-yard punt by Sean Nolan on Laguna’s first possession. Rio Hondo’s first punt had been a shank out-of-bounds but their second try of the evening was a clean kick to their 45-yard line and the hands of Sean Nolan who returned the ball down the sidelines for the first score. The two steals traded punts again before Rio Hondo put together a 50-yard drive to score as time expired in the quarter.
Laguna took the kickoff to their 10 and then drove 90 yards in 10 plays scoring on an Andrew Johnson to Raul Villalobos pass play that covered 31 yards. Noah Handel made the second of seven PATs to take a 14-7 lead.
After the kickoff went out of bounds, Rio Hondo’s first play from scrimmage only went two yards before the runner fumbled leaving the expose ball on the Rio Hondo 37-yard line. A fast-acting Shane Lythgoe picked up the ball making 10 yards on the fumble return before lateraling to Sean Nolan who added another 24 yards before getting tackled on the one. A quick dive by Shane, and Laguna was up 21-7. The Kares did not fold scoring on a seven-play drive that featured a big 54-yard pass play. They also added a 40-yard field goal to close-out the half down 21-17.
Breakers had the ball twice and scored both times on runs by Lythgoe first on a 15-play drive and then after holding Rio Hondo on downs scored on a six-play possession.
The highest scoring quarter in 78 years resulted in the fifth highest combined point total game in Laguna’s 84 seasons of play. The quarter began as Rio Hondo completed their second possession of the half with a 36-yard touchdown pass play to open the quarter. Their two-point conversion pass play put the score at 35-25 Laguna. Kai Ball took the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a 42-25 advantage. The Kares came right back in three pass plays to answer with a score of their own. After holding Laguna on three plays, the visitors took the punt to their own 34-yard line, then drove the remaining 66 yards on seven plays to cut the margin to 42-39 Laguna.
Breakers were moving the ball well on their next possession, but Rio Hondo snagged a pass to stop the Breaker drive. The Kares then used another big pass play to set up their final score and the lead with two minutes left.
The final possession started with a 44-yard Sean Nolan kick-off return to the Laguna 49. A penalty moved the ball to the Breaker 39 to start the drive. A Lythgoe run, passes to Villalobos (13 yards) and to Nolan (21 and 13 yards) got Laguna to the Rio Hondo 10. Shane Lythgoe provided the final score with seconds left on a pass from Andrew Johnson. There were still a few moments left after the Handel kickoff went for a touchback. Breakers played great defense as Rio Hondo’s first pass was harmlessly incomplete. The next one went to Shane Lythgoe who returned it only eight yards (he could have gone another 20) to end the evening for the Kares.
Golden West Pac 4 League play starts this week with Laguna at Western (6-1) for their homecoming game (doubtful if Tiger Woods will be there). The Pioneers are top ranked in D11 and favored to win the league.
The following week Laguna will host Ocean View (7-0) the #2 D11 squad at Guyer Field in a must-win contest for a chance for the playoffs. Breakers are in D12 and should easily qualify with a second-place finish, but it’s still too early to tell if a third-place finish will make it.
|Rio Hondo Prep||7||10||0||29||46|
L – Nolan 45 punt return (Handel kick) 1stQ
R – 1 run (Lang kick) 1stQ
L – Villalobos 31 pass from Johnson (Handel kick) 2ndQ
L – Lythgoe 1 run (Handel kick) 2ndQ
R – 1 run (Lang kick) 2ndQ
R – 40 FG Lang 2ndQ
L – Lythgoe 5 run (Handel kick) 3rdQ
L – Lythgoe 5 run (Handel kick) 3rdQ
R – 36 pass (pass) 4thQ
L – Ball 95 KOR (Handel kick) 4thQ
R – 42 pass (Lang kick) 4thQ
R – 20 run (Lang kick) 4thQtr
R – 3 run (Lang kick) 4thQ
L – Lythgoe 6 pass from Johnson (Handel kick) 4thQ
Rushing: Lythgoe 22-129, Johnson 4-(11), Nolan 1-16, Harper 1-0, Team 1-(1)
Receiving:Villalobos 5-106, Ball 4-63, Nolan 4-49, Lythgoe 5-12
Passing: Johnson 33-18-1, 230 2 TDS, 127.0 rating, 141.9 YTD
Interception Returns: Lythgoe 1-8
Fumble Returns: Lythgoe 1-12, Nolan 0-24
Punt Returns: Nolan 1-45
Kick Off Returns: Ball 3-119, Nolan 1-44
Punts: Nolan 4-155 38.8
Kick Offs: Handel 8, 4 touchbacks
Pass defense rating [NCAA formula]: 168,5, YTD = 118.8
Andrew Johnson is 9th in season passing yards, 4th in season TD passes
Kai Ball’s 95 KOR ranks tied for #8 all-time for Laguna Beach
SSCIF D12 Poll for Oct. 8: 1 – Linfield Christian, 2 – Bellflower, 3 – Laguna Beach, 4 – Tahquitz/Hemet, 5 – Santa Clarita Christian, 6 – Glenn, 7 – Ramona 8 – Rio Hondo Prep, 9 – Northwood, 10 – Rowland
This year’s homecoming queen was Eliana Arthur, and homecoming king was Cal Nielson.
Laguna Homecoming Kings
2018 Cal Nielson 2010 Jake Michaels
2017 Luc LaMontagne 2009 Chris Hillemann
2016 Jake Dameshek 2008 Graham Harris
2015 Penn Nielson 2007 John Robinson
2014 Dominic Droulez 2006 Dylan Fait
2013 Andres DeLaRosa 2005 Adam Kaplan
2012 Robbie McInerny 2004 Brent Kling
2011 Erik Henrikson 2003 Nima Mortazavi
Laguna Homecoming Queens
2018 Eliana Arthur 1987 Tamra Aguinaldo
2017 Alexa Anderson 1986 Katee Thorson
2016 Karly Pederson 1985 Kolleen McKeown
2015 Moorea Howson 1984 Jeni Englander
2014 Brenna Merchant 1983 Karen Pearse
2013 Cyanna Atkinson 1982 Mollie Merchant
2012 Amanda Kimball 1981 Liz Wilcoxen
2011 Marley Donenfeld 1980 Louise Girard
2010 Taylor Capobianco 1979 Lyn Halbert
2009 Alison Bloom 1978 Jill Robertson
2008 Rachel Busic 1977 Elisa Tyner
2007 Kelly Hancock 1976 Liz Jenison
2006 Candice Field 1975 Mary Ann Ottmer
2005 Stephanie Darnall 1974 Marla Johnson
2004 Cambria Lynn Steel 1973 Teri Huston
2003 Maura McManus 1972 Kathy Keon
2002 Mahila Hines 1971 Melissa Almon
2001 Lindsey Butterwick 1970 Carolyn Fee
2000 Caroline Myers 1969 Jeanine Benton
1999 Lacy Hines 1968 Christy Mikels
1998 Rachel Heussenstamm 1967 Sue Davis
1997 Mia Janson 1966 Jill Allen
1996 Leah Rodig 1965 Suellen Coen
1995 Sarah Cohen 1964 Janis Zimmerman
1994 Jennifer Prewitt 1963 Siew Hwa Beh
1993 Calthea Richards 1962 Corinne Brumfield
1992 Linda Schwartz 1961 Susan Turner
1991 Tori Scott 1960 Joan Crowley
1990 Molly Wetmore 1959 Janice Cornecl
1989 Kit Spath 1958 Marilyn Huston
1988 Stacy Trager 1957 Pat Enfields
1956 Suzanne Tinkey