Corona del Mar to Face Laguna Beach in CIF Semifinal Game

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Corona del Mar moves the ball downfield against Los Amigos last Friday. Photo by Jim Collins

By Frank Aranoff and Will Salem

Last week the Sea Kings of Corona del Mar beat the Lobos of Los Amigos in grand fashion, winning 45-7.

From the start Corona del Mar controlled the game. QB Brent Lawson scored the first two touchdowns of the game with a 37-yard scoring pass to Josh Giger and a 1-yard touchdown run.  The next two touchdowns were scored by Corona del Mar running back Erik Fisher.

Most of those points came off of three turnovers from Los Amigos which all lead to Corona del Mar touchdowns.  Before you knew it the score was 38-0 in the middle the third quarter.  It was a statement game on both sides of the ball for Corona del Mar.

They advance to the CIF Southern Division semifinals, to face the Breakers of Laguna Beach. Laguna Beach defeated the Golden West League champion Segerstrom (9-3), 51-40, in a hard-fought battle.  They were led by running back Drake Martinez who rushed for 204 yards on 29 carries and had 3 TDs. This week, they will field the most powerful offensive team in the school’s 77 varsity seasons, having scored more touchdowns than any prior Breakers squad.

Tonight the game between these two teams will be played at Laguna Beach High School at 7pm.  This is the first semi-final appearance for Laguna Beach in 47 years.  It’s the third time in the past four years for Corona del Mar.

On paper, Corona looks unstoppable, as strong defensively as Orange Coast League champs, Estancia, who took the Breakers 35-14 on Oct. 14. The pressure will be on Laguna Beach, who will have to play a more disciplined game if they are to beat CdM.  Last week Laguna Beach lost two turnovers to Segerstrom.  If they make the same mistakes against Corona del Mar this could be another blowout for the Sea Kings.

Over their long histories (CdM will be 50 years old next year), the Sea Kings and Breakers have played each other 21 times, with CdM winning 16 of those matchups, including all 12 since the last Laguna Beach victory, in 1985.

The winner of this game will go on to face the winner of the Beckman v Estancia game for the CIF Southern Division championship.

Here’s the breakdown:

Corona del Mar(1962) enrollment 1,642; W 10, L 2, second in the Pacific Coast League.

Laguna Beach (1934) enrollment 1,012, W 10, L 2, third in the Orange Coast League.

Who to watch:

Corona del Mar: Offensively, No. 12, quarterback Brent Lawson, has thrown for 2,337 yards, with 25 touchdowns. Leading runner is No. 4, Erik Fisher (5-10, 185 lbs.), who has run for 1,319 yards.

Main pass targets are No. 5 Josh Giger and No. 8 Troy Reese. Corona averages five yards per carry and 16 yards per pass reception.

On defense, look for No. 2 Fraiser Anderson (5-11, 180 lbs), No. 13 Aaron White (6-1, 195) No. 55 David Moore (6-1, 215) and No. 33 Grant Garrett (6-1 220) to be making the plays.

Scores this season:  d. Savanna 4907, d. Huntington Beach 28-21, d. Western 22-21, lost to Newport harbor 29-26, d. Magnolia 48-6, d. Northwood 17-10, d. Irvine 35-0, d. Woodbridge 31-30, d. University 49-21, lost to Beckman 42-37, d. Westminster 43-7, d. Los Amigos 45-7.

Laguna Beach:  Larry Stewart has thrown for 1,280 yards and 17 touchdowns in a run-oriented offense. Leading target has been Derek Reigel. In the backfield are Drake Martinez, 1,740 yards running, 237 receiving; Norton Penney Jr. with 1,173 yards running, 176 receiving; and Robert Clemons III with 721 yards running and 313 yards receiving.

Breakers are rushing overall an astonishing 9.7 yards per carry and 19 yards per pass reception.  All this has accounted for a 47.8 scoring average.

On defense, Laguna’s skilled players don’t leave the field.

Last week, the Breakers scored a 51-40 upset in defeating Golden West League champion Segerstrom (9-3).

Scores this season: d. Webb 55-7, d. Ocean View 73-40, d. Bishop Montgomery 28-23, d. Mary Star 55-26, d. Jurupa Hills 56-14, lost to Estancia 35-14, d. Calvary Chapel 48-13, d. Godinez 42-35, lost to Costa Mesa 63-47, d. Saddleback 56-3, d. Anaheim 49-13, d. Segerstrom 51-40.

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