Breakers dropped the 64th homecoming contest 28-14 before an overflow crowd at Guyer Field last Friday night, but not without a tough fight well into the second half. The D11 Vikings (5-1) are a 2,500 student school and play in the stronger Big 4 division of the Golden West Conference for football. They are a league mandated crossover non-league game for the Breakers and represents the largest school Laguna will face in the regular season slightly larger than Godinez and Dana Hills. You could easily tell in the warmups the size and depth difference in the two squads.
The teams traded punts early in the contest with Laguna getting a red-zone opportunity on their second possession. A poor punt by the Vikings gave Laguna a scoring opportunity but their 42-yard field goal attempt was short allowing Marina to return the kick 47 yards. From there, the Vikings scored on a four-play drive to take the initial lead with just 28 seconds remaining in the period. Breakers came right back and scored on an 11 play 80-yard drive to even the score. Marina scored next on a big 61-yard run but Laguna quickly countered with a sharp 62 yard Andrew Johnson to Raul Villalobos pass play to tie the game. Breakers were a little sloppy on the final Marina possession before half but pressured the Vikings enough to force a punt with just under a minute remaining. Breakers went on the offense and looked like they could take the lead but could go no further than the Marina 28-yard line.
In the second half, the two teams traded punts before Laguna mounted another solid scoring threat, taking the ball as close as the Marina 25-yard line before the Viking defense stopped the effort. Marina then mounted a strong six-play 80-yard drive of their own aided by two big runs to take the lead in the final minute of the period. Breakers had two more chances to tie the contest but just could not connect on their needed pass plays to sustain any drive. In the final four minutes, the home team finally caved in defensively, allowing Marina to march 60 yards on eight runs to finishing the scoring.
Previously on Sept. 27: Breakers 49, Estancia 3:
Laguna used the big pass play to open-up a tough defensive contest to give the home team their largest victory in the 31-game series with Estancia. Key for Laguna early on was receiver Jack Crawford who made clutch receptions that led to the first two Breaker scores.
Estancia took the opening kickoff and were forced to punt after just three plays while the Breakers stalled on a nine-play drive after moving 34 yards. The Eagles went nowhere in their second possession giving the Breakers the ball near the midfield stripe. A run by Jackson Golden for nine yards, a pair of runs by Tyler Fields and two completions to Jack Crawford set up the one-yard score by Andrew Johnson. After another futile attempt by Estancia, Breakers used a similar formula to score on their third possession in a 13 play 65-yard drive capped by Jackson Golden’s 1-yard run. After the Eagles’ fourth possession, Laguna scored in one play as Andrew Johnson hit Noah Diver sprinting through the Eagle secondary and sent the senior 77 yards for the score. Beck Kesler’s third of seven extra-points made it 21-0 with 4:44 left in the period. Estancia’s lone score came seconds before halftime as they connected on a 51-yard pass play to double their offensive output to that point but with time running out they settled for the short field goal on third down. In the second half, the Breakers scored on their first three possessions and had already substituted players long before the last scrimmage score.
Laguna’s final touchdown came during the running clock fourth quarter as sophomore Cooper Buckhorn picked off a desperation Estancia pass to race 83 yards for points, the fifth longest interception return in the 85-years of varsity football.
Laguna travels to Irwindale on Oct. 11 to meet Arcadia’s D12 #6 Rio Hondo Prep (5-0) in a key non-league contest. Last year the Breakers edged their division rival 49-46 in a wild homecoming contest at Guyer Field and the rematch should be another equally high-scoring event. Laguna Stats and schedule can be found at the Laguna page on MaxPreps.com.