Football: Tesoro beats Los Alamitos, 23-7

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Quarterback Robbie Picazo completed 14 of 22 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown and linebacker Jake Warden blocked two field goal attempts as host Santa Margarita Tesoro (11-0) rallied from a second-quarter deficit to defeat Los Alamitos, 23-7, in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs on Friday night.

The Titans took advantage of three Los Alamitos (8-3) interceptions, including one in the final minute by Preston King, who returned it 16 yards to score. However, Tesoro scored its game-winning touchdown midway through the third quarter when defensive lineman Issac Tago recovered teammate Adam Albitar’s fumble in the end zone.


Running back Zach Mitchell also contributed, rushing for 174 yards in 22 carries for the Titans, who will play Mater Dei in the division quarterfinals Nov. 28. An 80-yard run by Mitchell helped set up Tago’s touchdown.

Los Alamitos, which finished in a five-way tie for first place in the Sunset League, struggled to find offensive consistency. Quarterback Clark Evans tossed three interceptions, but also completed 14 of 29 passes for a game-high 231 yards. He scored on a two-yard run, as well. Running back Cody Perez rushed for 45 yards in nine carries.

The game featured a matchup between father and son coaches. Tesoro coach Brian Barnes beat his father, John Barnes, the most-successful coach in Orange County history (273-81-7), in his first attempt. Brian Barnes also played at Los Alamitos.

-- Austin Knoblauch