Breakers Can’t Override Injuries in Blowout Loss to Artesia
Laguna’s run for a CIF title ended like in so many other years as key injuries left too many holes to fill in a 48-6 loss last Friday night, Nov. 16, at Artesia High School in Lakewood.
Breakers knew they had lost #3 receiver Raul Villalobos (19 catches 276 yards 4 tds) to a broken collarbone in the Northwood game, but the sore shoulder of standout Sean Nolan was expected to be cleared for the game and wasn’t. The loss of their record-setting punter (42 average on 33 punts) and #1 receiver (70 catches, 1184 yards) was a big blow felt throughout the game.
Noah Diver did a great job replacing Nolan on kick-off returns as the speedy junior returned the opening kick 19-yards to the 27. Breakers were able to move the ball to the Artesia 19 but stalled on three missed passes. Breakers got a taste of the Pioneer running game as their back darted 81 yards for the first score. The extra point snap was mishandled and the last minute two-point conversion try failed. Diver got a 30-yard return on the kickoff and Laguna drove 65 yards in seven plays to tie the score. Handel’s kick just missed on the PAT. Artesia came right back on their next possession scoring on their third play to make it 14-6. Breakers were all set to respond after another great Diver kick-off return but on the first play from scrimmage, #4 receiver Jack Crawford (19 catches, 267 yards) was leveled with a personal foul penalty that broke his jaw. After a long injury timeout, play resumed, but Laguna struggled with Andrew Johnson getting sacked on two of three plays. On the punt play, the snap would have been taken by a taller Sean Nolan, but it sailed untouched over the head of Noah Handel stepping in to punt in Sean’s absence. The ball sailed back 29 yards into the end zone where the Pioneers easily recovered the ball for a score and it was now 20-6 Artesia.
From that point onward—Laguna receivers struggled to catch the passes from Andrew Johnson and the evening unraveled. Artesia scored on two of three possessions in the second period, added a third on their first possession of the third quarter, then scored in the fourth period on a one-play drive after Laguna threw an interception.
2018 Laguna Football Game #13 @ Artesia Statistics
A–Davis24run(Burgoskick),2:21. A–Davis38run(Burgoskick),0:29. 2ndQ
A – H Gladden 55 run (Burgos kick) 6:51 4thQ
Rushing: Lythgoe 9-55, Castillo 3-14, Harper 2-10, Johnson 7-(23), team 1-(29)
Receiving: Ball 3-60, Lythgoe 2-9, Davis 2-23, Crawford 1-25, Celebrese 1-25, Pigott 1-20, Diver 1-7
Passing: Johnson 28-11-2 169 yards 1TD 87.5 rating
Fumble Returns: none
Kick Off Returns: Diver 4-91, Ball 1032, Golden 1-13
Kick Offs:Handel 2, touchback 2
Pass defense rating[NCAA formula] 60.7, YTD 120.9