Friday, October 10, 2008
Laguna Hills tops Canyon, improves to 5-0
SPECIAL TO OCVARSITY.COM
LAGUNA HILLS - The answer was direct and straight. "No," said Laguna Hills coach Bruce Ingalls, when asked if he knew how good his team really is. But there was more to Ingalls' answer. "We'll find out at the end of league."
Ah, Pacific Coast League action begins next week, and then it's on to the playoffs. In preparation for what Laguna Hills hopes will be a successful defense of its league title — and a more successful journey than its first-round exit in last year's playoffs — it feasted on visiting Canyon, 26-7, in a nonleague game Friday.
"Our kids stepped up to the challenge of playing a very good football team," he said. "They did a good job of preparing and it showed. I don't know if we're there yet, but we're close."
The Hawks scored twice in the first quarter and sealed the decision with a 95-yard drive at the end of the third quarter that all but finished Canyon (2-3). It is the fourth victory this season by Laguna Hills (5-0) over an opponent that, five weeks into the season, has a losing record.
Canyon should have been the best of the lot, and Laguna Hills' victory was decisive even though the Comanches seemed to steal momentum midway after Tubotein Taylor's 33-yard run with 2 minutes 28 seconds left in the half.
"What killed us was that 95-yard drive," said Canyon Coach Brent McKee, who watched the Hawks drive the length of the field in eight plays, all on the ground, behind the blocking of tight end Austin Dimmler, tackles Matt Degrassi and Noel Molina, guards Jeff McCraney and Jeff Quigley, and center Joseph Franco.
It ended when Derek Browning scored from 14 yards. Browning finished with 18 carries for 120, while Matt Giovinazzo carried 13 times for 109 and a touchdown of 3 yards to give the Hawks the early lead.
Laguna Hills rushed for 334 yards , including a three-yard run by Tyler Perkins that made it 14-0 following a Canyon fumble at its own 18. At one point, Canyon turned the ball over in three consecutive possessions, twice on the first play of a drive.
"Next week we're 0-0, but we've got to get a lot better in a hurry because we're playing another team called the Golden Hawks," McKee said, referring to two-time defending Southern Section champion El Dorado.
Canyon gained only 118 yards on the ground, 12 in the air.