Laguna seemed to be looking past their opening playoff game as the Warriors record (3-6) wasn’t the playoff resume most opponents take into post-season. Saddleback Valley Christian entered the playoffs as the second-place representative from the San Joaquin League behind D6 power St Margaret’s, and ahead of Webb and Southland Christian. Still, Laguna managed to make the key defensive plays and some clutch receptions on offense to defeat the visitors.
Saddleback gained only 3 yards on their first possession punting to Laguna. Shane Lythgoe gained 30 yards on five carries and the score came on the drive’s seventh play. Noah Handel kicked off with the first of six touchback kickoffs. Sloppy defense on Laguna’s part and pure luck allowed the Warriors to march in 10 plays for their score. Key play was a tip pass that fell into the Warrior receiver’s hands for a 24-yard gain. The PAT was blocked. Breakers wasted no time and scored again on a five-play drive.
Warriors’ drive started with one play in the first quarter and ended almost halfway through the second period on a 10-play possession. A great two-point conversion pass play tied the game. Laguna looked like they were going to respond with an 11-play possession, but two holding penalties set them back and the possession ended on an interception thrown into the well-covered end zone. Laguna’s defense then stopped SVC for only a net two yards forcing a punt. Breakers used the few seconds remaining in the period to get into field goal range after two incomplete passes to take a lead into halftime. The field goal by Noah Handel was the 12th of his career, now third on the all-time list behind Jason Crabb (16) and Todd Merz (14)
Warriors surprised the Breakers with a great on-side kick and then marched 40 yards in four plays to take the lead. Both teams had two minimal possessions turning the ball over on downs the rest of the period before Laguna had their third try starting from their own 20-yard line. Slowly the Breakers marched 80 yards in 15 plays ending in the reception by Kai Ball three minutes into the final period.
After the Breakers score, the defense was fired up to stop Saddleback. They forced them to punt but were unable to score after marching to the Saddleback 2-yard line. The Warriors tried to get out of the Laguna red zone but went for an unsuccessful fourth down pass from their own ten-yard mark in desperation. Laguna added the final points on a great catch by Sean Nolan for the insurance points.
|Saddleback Valley Chr||6||8||7||0||21|
L – Nolan 15 pass from Johnson (Handel kick) 7:31 1stQ
S – Sweeney 4 run (kick failed) 2:16 1stQ
L – Ball 5 pass from Johnson (Handel kick) 0:23 1stQ
S – Moreno 10 pass from Sweeney (Spry pass from Sweeney) 6:55 2ndQ
L – Handel 28 FG 0:16 2ndQ
S – McCain 35 pass from Sweeney (Sweeney kick) 10:30 3rdQ
L – Ball 9 pass from Johnson (kick blocked) 9:19 4thQ
L – Nolan 9 pass from Johnson (Handel kick) 2:17 4thQ
Rushing: Lythgoe 15-75, Johnson 6-(10), Harper 2-0, Castillo 3-19
Receiving:Nolan 9-166, Diver 3-22, Pigott 1-18, Ball 4-44, Lythgoe 4-28, Harper 3-32
Passing: Johnson 34-24-1 310 yds 4 TDs 180.1 rating
Punt Returns: Nolan 1- (1)
Kick Off Returns: Ball 2-25, Nolan 1-5
Kick Offs: Handel 6, touchback 6
Pass defense rating[NCAA formula]: 166.50, YTD 122/30
Andrew Johnson new school records:
Season: Old Records:
Passing attempts 363 269 Danny Lane 12 g 1987
Passing Completions 210 179 Danny Lane 12 g 1987
Passing yards 2,782 2,303 Danny Lane 12g 1987
Total Offense: 2,599 2,398 Curtis Harrison 13g 2016
Touchdown passes 37 26 Austin Paxson 11g 2009
Touchdowns Responsible for: 39 32 Curtis Harrison 13g 2016
Single Game Records:
Touchdown passes 6 @ Godinez 10/25/18 5 last by Curtis Harrison 2017
Completions game – 29 vs Estancia 9/21/18 26 James Kimball v. L Hills, 1995
Sean Nolan new school records:
Season: Old Records:
Pass receptions: 65 61 by Jake Wheeler 2003 & Chris Paul 2009
Nolan is one catch away from career receptions, 112 yards from season receiving yards, four TDs from season receiving TDS.