ORANGE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: PREP EXTRA : Kennedy Uses Loara Mistakes to Win Empire League

Kennedy took advantage of Loara turnovers and cruised to a 21-7 victory Friday night at Western High School that clinched its third consecutive Empire League title.

Loara (4-6, 3-2) finished in third place and is eligible for an at-large playoff berth because of Cypress’ two forfeits.

After Clint Collins returned the opening kickoff 40 yards to give the Saxons good field position, Marcus McBride fumbled a completed pass, giving Kennedy the ball on its 42-yard line.

The Fighting Irish (9-1, 5-0) marched down the field to take a 7-0 lead on Darin Martineau’s nine-yard touchdown run with 7 minutes 59 seconds to play in the first quarter.


With 1:24 left in the quarter, Martineau scored again, this time from five yards out.

Loara threatened late in the second quarter, but McBride again fumbled a completed pass, this time on Kennedy’s one-yard-line as the quarter ended.

The Saxons controlled the ball for much of the third quarter, reaching Kennedy’s 25-yard line in 14 plays.

But quarterback Archie Lappin’s next pass was intercepted by Mark Sparks at the 18-yard line and returned 82 yards for a touchdown.

Despite being down by 21 points late in the fourth quarter, Loara wouldn’t quit. Lappin, who completed 16 of 29 passes for 156 yards, led his team 84 yards on a 10-play drive that was capped by Vince Vaccaro’s five-yard touchdown run with 3:51 left in the game.