No one could remember the last time Huntington Beach, one of the county's oldest schools, played host to an afternoon football game, but that happened Saturday against Tustin. The Oilers, in balmy temperatures and under clear skies, made a picnic of it for the approximately 500 spectators who showed up to watch Huntington Beach win, 15-14.
The date change was requested by Tustin; the original Thursday date was in conflict with the Tillers' back-to-school night.
So Huntington Beach decided to try something different and started the game at 3:30 p.m.
The results, though, were mixed as to whether afternoon games at Huntington Beach will catch on. Oiler Coach George Pascoe and the school's vice principal, Darrell Stillwagon, endorsed it. Players, too, appeared to like it.
But freshmen Stephanie Powell and Karen Hulen did not. "It's too hot," they said.
They were wearing their school's orange and black Spirit Squad uniforms--made of wool.
Mater Dei and Irvine were flagged a combined 29 times for 275 penalty yards in the second-ranked Monarchs' 28-14 football victory. Mater Dei had 17 for 170; Irvine 12 for 105.
Said Mater Dei Coach Bruce Rollinson: "I can't really comment, but with that much penalty yardage . . . something's not right. I can't ever remember being involved with a game that had that much penalty yardage."
Said Irvine Coach Terry Henigan: "In the last few years, we and Mater Dei have won, what, almost six [Southern Section] titles? We have two pretty good programs. To combine for 275 yards in penalties is, shall we say, interesting. The better team won, and it was a pretty good game. But to have penalty after penalty after penalty, you hate to see that."
It might not have seemed the prudent move at the time, but Estancia knew what it was doing when it declined to take the ball at the 35 after an Ocean View kickoff went out of bounds.
The Eagles had the Seahawks kick over--and Chris Felix returned it for an 85-yard touchdown and a 13-7 lead en route to a 21-13 victory and 4-0 record. Felix returned a kickoff against Ocean View last year to gain a 7-7 tie.
There are eight unbeaten football teams in the county, but only three were ranked going into Friday's games. Who's playing the toughest schedule? Here are the combined records of the opponents of the currently undefeated: Mater Dei (9-7), Santa Margarita (7-9), Los Alamitos (6-9-1), University (5-10-1), Fullerton (5-11), Santa Ana Valley (5-11), Western (5-11), Estancia (4-11).
El Toro, averaging 42.5 points per game, insisted it wasn't trying to run up the score in its 50-18 victory over Aliso Niguel. But the Chargers raised eyebrows with an onside kick attempt after taking a 37-18 lead with 10:47 left.
Staff writers Martin Henderson, Mike Terry and Wendy Witherspoon contributed to this story.