Garden Grove League : Pacifica’s First Victory of Season Is a Wild One

Times Staff Writer

It seemed too early in the season for such a thing, but the game between Pacifica High School and La Quinta Friday was a big one--perhaps the biggest of the Garden Grove League season.

To suit the occasion, Pacifica and La Quinta launched big play against big play.

It was Pacifica that finally walked away with the big triumph, a 35-28 victory in front of 1,500 at Bolsa Grande High School. The victory would seem to re-establish the Mariners as favorites for the league championship.

The Mariners, winless after their first three games, scored touchdowns on pass plays of 50, 65 and 70 yards in a game in which quarterback Bobby Anderson passed for 289 yards and three touchdowns.


Anderson completed 12 of 17 passes, getting much of the yardage on runs after catches. He was intercepted once, a meaningless one just before the half, which ended 14-14.

The Aztecs were not to be outdone when Pacifica took a 20-14 lead in the third quarter on one of those big plays, a short pass from Anderson that Chris Shockley turned into a sideline footrace and a 65-yard touchdown play.

La Quinta blocked the point after try, and then turned around and took a 21-20 lead on an 85-yard kickoff return by Walter Dawkins.

The Aztecs went ahead, 28-20, with 10 minutes left, but Pacifica came back once with its remarkable pass combination, Anderson to Mark Flatten. Already Flatten had scored on touchdown pass plays of 10 and 50 yards. He would finish with 186 yards and three touchdowns on six catches.

This time, Anderson lofted a pass deep, and Flatten accelerated, hauling it in with his left hand, and went in for the touchdown.

Needing to make up for the blocked kick, Pacifica went for the two-point conversion. Anderson’s pass into the crowded end zone was tipped twice--and landed in the arms of Shockley, making it 28-28.

Pacifica held La Quinta twice, including stuffing the Aztecs on fourth-and-short at the Pacifica 31, and then got the ball back for a final drive with just more than two minutes left.

The Mariners scored the winning touchdown with 54 seconds left on Shockley’s 33-yard run.

La Quinta got the ball back and tried to come up with one more big play. The Aztecs almost did.

Quarterback Richard Weaver, who passed for 216 yards, hit Jason Cherms with a pass from the Aztecs half of the field, and Cherms carried it to the Pacifica 13 before falling, stumbling or caught from behind as time ran out.

“The kids rose to the occasion,” Pacifica Coach Bill Craven said. “We thought La Quinta was the team to beat.”