John Turek, Troy High School football coach, chalked up his team's 33-0 shutout of La Habra Friday night to the Warriors' tremendous defensive effort. A simple analysis perhaps, but considering Troy's defense, any positive description would probably border on understatement.
"We've got 11 guys who are just flying to the ball," said Turek, who will guide Troy (6-3 overall, 3-1 in league play) into the playoffs as the league's number two team.
"I thought it might be closer than that, but our kids are playing so well now as a team. It's been an incredible season for us," he said.
Troy, which hasn't allowed a point in 10 consecutive quarters of play, took advantage of every opportunity against La Habra (4-5, 2-2).
Chad Hartford, a tight end/defensive back/kicker, gave Troy its initial momentum when he intercepted Mark Moreno on La Habra's first possession of the game. Hartford returned the ball 56 yards to the La Habra 14, and Ed Gunderson scored moments later on three-yard run.
Hartford, who also caught three passes for 55 yards, led the defense along with tackle Jason Gudzunas and defensive back Eldon Davis. Although La Habra's Mark Brown gained 114 yards in 19 carries, Troy never let La Habra come close to scoring.
"They put it to us," La Habra coach Jack Nicholls said. "One week we're flat, the next we come out and play football. It's been a roller coaster all season. . . . I'm ashamed of a lot of the kids who lost their poise tonight."
La Habra had three turnovers in the first half, two of which led to Troy touchdowns. The second--a fumble that Gudzunas recovered on the La Habra 11--ended in an 11-yard scoring run by Gunderson, giving Troy a 14-0 halftime lead.
In contrast, La Habra could do little with its opportunities.
Troy quarterback Greg Windle didn't have a terrific start as he finished the first half having completed only three of 10 passes for 61. He also was intercepted once. But in the second half, he hit Steve Friedrich for two consecutive touchdown plays of eight and 62 yards.
Reserve halfback Pete Kennison scored Troy's final touchdown on a six-yard run in the fourth quarter.