Semi Final in Santa Ana Tonight
Football (8-4, 4-1)
Breakers stopped Boron’s vaulted runners on literally the one-inch line with 92 seconds remaining to preserve a 21-14 victory Friday, Nov. 18.
The final yard proved elusive for Laron Cherry and Emilio Gutierrez, the Bobcat’s heralded running backs who played a key role in the final quarter, 16-play drive. The Breakers two-way players Adam Armstrong, Matt Hayes, Sean Nolan and Curtis Harrison provided the wall to halt the last-ditch scoring attempt.
The team now advances to the semifinals for the ninth time in 82 seasons in Santa Ana Friday, Nov. 25. The Division 13 game against Santa Ana (12-0) at the Santa Ana Bowl kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Breakers and the Saints have met twice with Santa Ana winning 6-0 in 1953 and Laguna pulling off a 39-14 upset in the 2008 CIF playoffs. Santa Ana is officially 12-0 this season, but that includes a forfeit by Orange, which defeated them 31-29 on Oct. 6. Breakers lost to the Panthers 48-17, but trailed only 7-3 at halftime. The other common opponent is Calvary Chapel that narrowly lost to Santa Ana 27-24. Breakers defeated their league rival 39-14 earlier this month.
In last week’s quarterfinal, Laguna was led by junior quarterback Curtis Harrison. He scored all three touchdowns rushing for 42 yards and passing for 164 to set the single season total offense record for a quarterback with 2,222 yards.
Also key for the win was running back Matt Hayes with 113 yards on 13 carries,
including a 22-yard run to help run out the clock in the closing seconds of the contest. Sean Nolan also came up with an interception that set up Laguna’s second score and three catches for 40 yards.
Boron had the ball first and the Breakers held after three plays, but fumbled a short punt to give the Bobcats a second chance midfield. Laguna held on the 50 forcing another short punt that ended bouncing back to nearly the line of scrimmage. Laguna squandered this great opportunity after driving to the Boron 26 yard line, turning the ball over on downs after a no-gain run attempt and two incomplete passes. Boron drove 66 yards to the Laguna 8 and the Breakers held on downs for the first of three fourth down stops.
In the second quarter, Breakers were limited to five plays for their four possessions but Boron was successful on a long 12-play, 73-yard drive scoring with less than two minutes remaining in the half. Their try for a PAT was wide.
Laguna got the ball first in the second half and Curtis Harrison took matters into his own hands, scoring on a long 34-yard quarterback draw that surprised everyone at the game. Nolan was perfect on the PAT and Laguna took the lead. Boron had two short runs before the Nolan theft setting the Breakers up on the Bobcat 15. It took only 15 seconds and Laguna was now up 14-6. Boron came right back with a nine-play, 85-yard drive of their own with Gutierrez scoring and then adding the two point conversion with ease to gain the 14-14 tie.
The two teams traded hard fought possessions with Laguna getting the ball back in the fourth quarter after stopping Boron on a fourth and one attempt on the Laguna 41. Harrison completed a 10-yard pass to Sean Nolan followed by a dramatic 30-yard run by Matt Hayes to swing the momentum to Laguna. Three more plays and it was 21-14. Boron was patient on their long six minute final possession going 74 yards in 16 plays, but their play choice on their final four tries will haunt them in the off season.
B – Cherry 19 run (kick wide) 1:23 2nd Q
L – Harrison 34 run (Nolan kick) 9:57 3rd Q
L – Harrison 1 run (Nolan kick) 8:29 3rd Q
B – Gutierrez 15 run (Gutierrez run ) 4:32 3rd Q
L – Harrison 3 run (Nolan kick) 7:29 4th Q
Rushing: Hayes 13-113, Harrison 10-42, Knill 1-4, Team 1-(1)
Passing: Harrison 22-11-0 164 yds 112.6 rating
Receiving: Knill 3-83, Armstrong 1-23, Blaser 3-22, Hayes 1-(4), Nolan 3-40
KO Returns: Kill 1-11, Hayes 1-33
Interception Returns: Nolan 1-26
Punting: Moriarty 4-137 34.3
Harrison – # 5 in single season passing yards, # 3 in touchdown passes, # 2 in completions,
- # 1 in total offense as a quarterback, # 1 for touchdowns responsible as a QB.
Blasér – # 14 in single season catches and receiving yards
Nolan – # 3 in Xtra Points, kick scoring, # 4 in field goals
Dane Blanton ’90 was inducted into the Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame on Friday, Nov. 11, at the Hermosa Theater in Hermosa Beach where the museum is located. Blanton was a two-sport all-CIF performer, an all-American volleyball player at Pepperdine and a gold medal winner at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in beach volleyball.
Blanton joins other Laguna inductees, who include former Laguna Beach HS players Linda Roberston, inducted in 2004; Adam Johnson, in 2012; Steve Obradovich, in 2005; and Brian Lewis, in 2011.
Two Laguna Beach 2012 alumni, Sami Harting and Marissa Greenough, made the all-league team for the NCAA Division 2 Conference Carolinas from Erskine College in Due West, S.C. Harting was a first team selection and Greenough made the seven player second team squad.