Laguna Hills rallies, beats Trabuco Hills
The Hawks come back after Wertenberger leaves with an injury.
By CARLOS ARIAS
MISSION VIEJO - Laguna Hills' starting quarterback got knocked out of the game in the third quarter and Trabuco Hills took a one-point lead early in the fourth.
The Mustangs had all the momentum, but the Hawks weren't about to give in.
Laguna Hills put together a fourth-quarter scoring drive and held on for a 13-8 nonleague victory over the Mustangs on Friday night at Trabuco Hills High.
"It's all about this," Laguna Hills coach Bruce Ingalls told his players after the game while pointing to his heart. "You guys showed you had plenty of it."
Jack Michelman stepped in for Ryan Wertenberger, who left the game after getting sacked by Trabuco Hills' Aaron Henry midway through the third quarter. Michelman helped orchestrate a six-play, 80-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter.
Michelman completed only one pass on the drive, but he didn't make any mistakes. The rest of the plays were on the ground. Trabuco Hills committed three penalties for 35 yards, including a pass-interference call that kept the Hawks' drive alive.
Gordon Spencer's 18-yard run got the Hawks a first-and-goal from the 10-yard line. Reece Ludwig followed the right side of his line in for the go-ahead score.
Laguna Hills went for the two-point conversion, but Matt Giovinazzo was stopped a yard short. But the Hawks had a 13-8 lead with 7:26 remaining.
"Our second-team quarterback came in and did a great standup job," Ingalls said.
"He led our team down there for that exciting score. He did a great job of executing the offense. … He came in there and got the job done for us." Ingalls said Wertenberger got slammed to the ground hard and was a little dinged up, but he expects him back for next week.
It was up to the defense to put the finishing touches on this one, and Trabuco Hills went three-and-out on its next two possessions.
The Mustangs got the ball back at their 26-yard line with 1:52 remaining. Cory Brandt completed a 36-yard pass to Adam Mooney on third-and-long to keep the drive alive and move the ball to the Laguna Hills 34-yard line. Brandt threw two incomplete passes, fumbled and threw an incompletion on fourth down.
That was it for the Mustangs.
"I gotta give credit to our defense," Ingalls said. "To hold that school, those big guys, to (eight) points was an unbelievable defensive effort. No doubt about it. Those guys played great on ‘D.'" Giovinazzo scored on a 2-yard run in the closing seconds of the first quarter to give the Hawks a 7-0 lead.
The Mustangs responded with a 37-yard field goal from Christian Lepore, a safety when Laguna Hills snapped a punt out of the end zone, and Lepore added a 22-yard field goal to give Trabuco Hills an 8-7 leaf with 9:44 remaining.
"It's an inter-district rival," Ingalls said of facing Trabuco Hills. "It's always going to be a roller coaster. That's what's going to happen. I told our kids it's going to be up and down all game and it's going to come down to one or two plays, and that's what happened."